Dealing with a determination

Produced by Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford

The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note Produced 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
  • Review the determination
  • Other considerations
  • Payment of the liability
  • When may a taxpayer have to accept a determination?
  • Special relief
  • Payments on account ― income tax self-assessment

Dealing with a determination


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.

Once the determination becomes final, and the taxpayer is unable to make a claim under the overpayment relief provisions, it may be possible, 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, one only to be employed where all other options are exhausted and where HMRC's approach has clearly been unreasonable.


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

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 behalf. For example, if an individual or a company has a form 64-8 in place, authorising an agent to act on their behalf, then the agent should be notified of a determination raised by HMRC.

When the determination is received, the tax determined by HMRC becomes immediately payable as if the taxpayer or a

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