Dealing with a determination

By Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford

The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note by Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Dealing with a determination
  • Introduction
  • Determinations
  • When a determination is received
  • Other considerations
  • Special relief
  • Payments on account


A determination should be considered a significant failure by a taxpayer to deal with their tax affairs. It should be dealt with promptly and in most cases a taxpayer will require the assistance of an adviser to deal with the determination.

Advisers should be aware of the regulations surrounding determinations which are found in the What is a determination? guidance note.

At the very least all advisers should be aware that there is no right of appeal against a determination issued by HMRC. A valid determination can only be displaced by the submission of a tax return, which must be submitted within 12 months from the date of the determination. If a return is not filed within this period the determination becomes final.

The key legislation is found at FA 1998, Sch 18, para 40 in relation to corporation tax and at TMA 1970, s 28C(3) for income tax.

Once the determination becomes final, and the taxpayer is unable to make a claim under the overpayment relief provisions, it may be possible, from 1 April 2011, to submit a special relief claim to displace the determination. Such claims are only accepted in very specific circumstances.

Special relief is discussed further below. However an adviser should consider this as a final course of action.


Determinations are raised by HMRC where a taxpayer has failed to file a tax return by the due date.

TMA 1970, s 28C; FA 1998, Sch 18, para 36

Determinations are discussed in more detail in the What is a determination? guidance note. This note includes what a determination covers, when they are raised and the purpose in raising them.

When a determination is received

A determination will either be received by a taxpayer or by an agent acting on the taxpayer’s

More on Determinations: