By Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Assessments
  • When will HMRC issue an assessment?
  • Time limits
  • Raising other assessments
  • Assessments for penalties, interest and surcharges
  • Assessments for overpaid interest and repayments
  • Issuing an assessment
  • Further assessments
  • Tribunals correct assessments

This guidance note provides an overview of the types of situations where HMRC may issue an assessment to a VAT registered business. This note predominately deals with assessments issued on or after 1 April 2010. It should be read in conjunction with the following guidance notes:

  • Default surcharge
  • Correcting errors
  • Crown debts and demands for VAT
  • Misdeclaration penalty
  • Paying VAT
When will HMRC issue an assessment?

VAT registered businesses have a legal obligation to submit their VAT returns and payments within specified time limits (due date). If the returns are not submitted or not received within the time limits or the returns submitted contain errors, HMRC has the power to raise an assessment, to the best of their judgement, to the business in order to collect the VAT due. Please see the Best judgement guidance note for more information.

VATA 1994, s 73; FA 2014, Sch 22; VAEC1000; VAEC1100; VAEC2010; De Voil Indirect Tax Service V5.131–V5.140 (subscription sensitive); VAEC2010

The principal aim of assessments is to enable HMRC to establish a legally enforceable debt which can then be pursued as a debt due to the Crown.

An assessment can be issued in the following circumstances:

  • a VAT return is missing, incorrect or incomplete
  • a prime assessment raised manually, or automatically by the central computer, because a business has failed to render a return
  • an additional assessment is raised following an earlier prime assessment
  • from 1 January 2015 where returns that have not been made to the tax authorities in other EU member states in relation to supplies of broadcasting, telecommunication and electronic services to consumers

More on Errors, assessments and charges: