Circumstances for making a Revenue Scotland assessment
If a designated officer of Revenue Scotland comes to the view honestly and reasonably that any of the following situations apply:
- an amount of devolved tax that ought to have been assessed has not been assessed;
- an assessment is or has become insufficient (that is, we are of the view that you are liable to more tax than we previously thought); or
- any relief you have claimed or been given is or has become excessive,
then we may, subject to certain conditions and time limits (see further below), make an assessment (a ‘Revenue Scotland assessment’) of the amount, or additional amount, that in our view you should be charged.
We can also, again subject to certain conditions and time limits, make an assessment (also known as a ‘Revenue Scotland assessment’) against any amount of tax and associated interest which has (but should not have) been repaid to you. We can recover this amount in the same manner as if it were unpaid tax.
Conditions for making a Revenue Scotland assessment
Subject to one exception, we can only make a Revenue Scotland assessment where any of the situations listed above have been brought about carelessly or deliberately (see below) by:
- you (the taxpayer or, in the case of a Revenue Scotland assessment concerning excessive repayment of tax, the person who the repayment was made to);
- a person acting on your behalf; or
- a person who is (or was) a partner of yours.
Subject to one exception, we cannot make a Revenue Scotland assessment if:
- any of the situations listed above are attributable to a mistake in the return as to the basis on which the tax liability ought to have been calculated; and
- that return was made on the basis prevailing, or in accordance with the practice generally prevailing, at the time the return was made.
The one exception to the above conditions is where a claim for relief for repayment of tax has been made under section 107 of the RSTPA 2014 (see RSTP7003), and the grounds for that claim are also grounds for us to make a Revenue Scotland assessment against the claimant. In such a situation we can make a Revenue Scotland assessment against the claimant irrespective of any of these conditions applying or, as the case may be, not applying.
‘Carelessly’ means a loss of tax or a situation is brought about by you failing to take care to avoid bringing about that loss or situation.
You will also be treated as having brought about a loss of tax or a situation carelessly if information is provided to us either by you or someone else on your behalf, and you (or the person who provided the information on your behalf):
- discover some time later that the information was inaccurate; and
- failed to take reasonable steps to inform us.
‘Deliberately’ means a loss of tax or a situation is brought about as a result of a deliberate inaccuracy in a document given to us by either you or someone on your behalf.
Time limits for making a Revenue Scotland assessment
The general rule is that we can only make a Revenue Scotland assessment up to five years after the relevant date (see below). But in the case of:
- an assessment involving a loss of tax or a situation which is brought about deliberately by you, a person acting on your behalf or your partner, we can make an assessment up to 20 years after the relevant date;
- the taxpayer having died, we can only make an assessment on the personal representatives within three years after the death and we cannot make an assessment in respect of a relevant date more than five years before the death;
- a claim for relief for repayment of tax having been made under section 107 of the RSTPA 2014 (see RSTP7003), and the grounds for that claim are also grounds for us to make a Revenue Scotland assessment against the claimant, we can make the assessment later than five years after the relevant date as long as it is made before the claim is finally determined. A claim is not finally determined until it, or the amount to which it relates, can no longer be varied (for example following the outcome of a review or appeal); and
- an assessment which is made to give effect to the amendment of a claim (made under section 106, 107 or 108 of the RSTPA 2014) by us at the closure of an enquiry into the claim, we can make the assessment later than five years after the relevant filing date as long as it is made within 30 days of the date the closure notice was issued (see RSTP7007).
The relevant date is the filing date or, if you make the return after the filing date, the date on which you made the return (that is, the date we received the return).
If you wish to object to the making of a Revenue Scotland assessment on the ground that the time limit that we have to make it has expired, you must do this by giving a notice of review (see RSTP6006) or appeal (see RSTP6008) against the assessment.
RSTPA 2014 section 103
Content of a Revenue Scotland assessment
We will notify you (the taxpayer or, in the case of a Revenue Scotland assessment concerning excessive repayment of tax, the person who the repayment was made to) when we make a Revenue Scotland assessment.
The notice will state:
the tax due;
- the date on which the notice is issued;
- the date by which the amount due must be paid; and
- the time within which any notice of review (see RSTP6006) or appeal (see RSTP6008) against the assessment must be given.
After you have been given the notice of the Revenue Scotland assessment, the assessment cannot be altered except in accordance with the express provisions of Part 5 (counteraction under the GAAR – see RSTP8006) or Part 6 of RSTPA 2014 (for example a claim under section 107 for an amount of tax in an assessment to be discharged – see RSTP7003).
If your tax return contains an inaccuracy, depending on the circumstances and the nature of the inaccuracy you may also be liable to a penalty (see RSTP3011).
If the assessment contains an under-assessment of your tax liability, and you are aware of this, depending on the circumstances you may be liable to a penalty for failing to take reasonable steps to notify us of this under-assessment (see RSTP3013).
Paying any tax following a Revenue Scotland assessment
You must pay, or repay as the case may be, any amount (of tax, interest or both) due as a result of a Revenue Scotland assessment within 30 days beginning with the date on which the assessment was issued to you Should you fail to do this, tax is due and payable to us and we may take measures to recover the debt (see RSTP5001).
If you fail to pay any amount of the tax due by the date on which the amount must be paid then you are liable to a penalty for failing to pay tax on time (see RSTP3008).