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HMRC internal manual

VAT Refunds

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Four year cap - other provisions: Capping of late returns: General

Returns rendered late are not capped but the action you will need to take in relation to late returns which are received more than four years after the end of the relevant accounting period will depend on the circumstances.

When processing any late returns, you should read the guidance in

Generally speaking late returns will be processed and subject to normal checking and adjustment procedures. However, the only way to recover an amount wrongly paid on an assessment (including prime and additional assessments) is to make a claim under Section 80(1A) of the VAT Act 1994.

Any such claim made more than four years after the end of the accounting period in which the assessment was made is capped under Section 80(4)(a).

Note: See VR2830 for more details on time limits.