RSTP1001 - Tax returns, enquiries and assessments

Chapter 1 of the RSTPA 2014 legislation guidance covering tax returns, enquiries and assessments.

It is important that the tax system for Scotland’s devolved taxes operates fairly and efficiently. We recognise that the vast majority of taxpayers want to comply with their obligations. We have various powers to help us check that taxpayers meet their tax responsibilities and pay the right amount of tax at the right time, to ensure that the taxes are operating as intended and to detect and to deter the minority who do not comply with their obligations.

These powers include opening an enquiry into your tax return or claim, making an amendment or correction of your tax return or claim and making our own determination or assessment of your tax position. These are in addition to any other investigatory powers we have such as information notices and inspections (see RSTP2001).

You also have the power to amend your tax return by notifying us – see RSTP1002.

Opening an enquiry does not necessarily mean that we believe there are any serious problems with your tax return or claim. Many checks are routine (such as where we need more information to understand the return) or are carried out on a random basis to ensure the integrity of the devolved tax regimes.

Some enquiries, however, will be carried out when we have identified, or have reason to suspect, a risk that a tax return or claim is incorrect.

This guidance does not cover enquiries, corrections or amendments in relation to claims which are not included in a tax return (that is, claims made under section 106, 107 or 108 of the RSTPA 2014). These are covered separately in RSTP7001.

Unless indicated otherwise, in this chapter of guidance:

  • 'we', ‘us’ or 'our' means Revenue Scotland. ‘We’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ also means Registers of Scotland or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency where either is carrying out a function delegated to it by us under section 4 of the RSTPA 2014; and
  • 'you' or 'your' means the taxpayer or the person on whose behalf a tax return is made.

The guidance is structured as follows:

RSTPA guidance on the rules regarding a taxpayer being able to amend their tax return within 12 months of the filing date.

RSTPA guidance on the circumstances in which Revenue Scotland can open an enquiry into a tax return, and the scope of the enquiry that can be carried out.

RSTPA guidance on the circumstances in which Revenue Scotland can amend a tax return during an enquiry.

RSTPA guidance on the circumstances in which questions can be referred to the tribunal during an enquiry for determination.

RSTPA guidance on the rules regarding completion of an enquiry into a tax return, including closure notices and Revenue Scotland amending the tax return.

RSTPA guidance on the power of Revenue Scotland to issue a Revenue Scotland determination when the taxpayer has failed to make a tax return on time.

RSTPA guidance on the power of Revenue Scotland in certain circumstances to issue a Revenue Scotland assessment.

RSTPA guidance on the power of Revenue Scotland in certain circumstances to amend a tax return to correct an obvious error or omission.