Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

Part 38

Returns of Income and Gains, Other Obligations and Returns, and Revenue Powers


Income tax: returns of income


Chapter 1 of Part 38 contains the provisions relating to the making of returns for income tax purposes. Section 876 provides that a person chargeable to income tax must given notice to an inspector of this fact where he/she has not already submitted a return of income. Sections 877 to 881 provide for the various returns of income and statements of profits which are required to be made by persons chargeable to income tax, agents, partnerships, married couples and civil partners.

Section 871 authorises the combination of any return relating to chargeable gains or capital gains tax with a return relating to income or income tax.

Reference should be made to Chapter 3 of Part 41A as regards the obligation to make a return of income for Self Assessment purposes.

The provisions of section 895(6) should be noted concerning the obligation to include in an income tax return details of foreign bank, etc accounts opened by the person making the return.

Reference should also be made to Part 47 for details of penalties for failure to make certain returns and penalties for fraudulently or negligently making incorrect returns, etc. Part 47 also contains provisions imposing a surcharge for the late submissions of returns (section 1084) and providing for the publication of names of tax defaulters (section 1086) (this includes persons who have been successfully prosecuted for failure to make a return).

876 Notice of liability to income tax

Where a person has not been notified by the inspector to submit, in relation to a year of assessment, either —

  • a statement in writing containing that person’s profits or gains chargeable to income tax, or
  • a return of that person’s income on the Revenue prescribed forms for that purpose,

then, that person, if chargeable to income tax for a year of assessment, must notify – not later than one year after the end of that year of assessment – their inspector that they are so chargeable.

However, it is important to note in the context of Self Assessment that sending such a notification to the inspector does not remove from the person the obligation (under Chapter 3 of Part 41A) to submit a tax return for Self Assessment purposes.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021