FAQ: What are the Time Limits for making Claims for Tax Reliefs?

The current time limits for taxpayers to make claims for tax reliefs were introduced in April 2010.  Generally the deadline for  direct taxes and for VAT is four years.

For individuals:  time limits run from the end of the relevant tax year (e.g. 5 April) or taxable period (instead of being linked to filing dates).

For Corporation Tax the deadline is  from the end of the Accounting Period.

Some claims for relief have their own statutory deadlines (e.g. claims for R&D relief must be made within 2 years of the accounting year end).  And for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax some elections and claims relating to Self Assessment Tax Returns still have to be submitted by either one year or five years after the 31 January statutory filing deadline.  Those one year claim periods did not change in 2010.

Late Claims can only be made where the taxpayer has a so-called “Reasonable Excuse“.  Also  once the conditions of the Reasonable Excuse have ended the claim must be made without “unreasonable delay“.

The General Deadlines at a Glance:


2015/16                 5 April 2020  (i.e. now out of time. Late Claim proceedings would be required.)

2016/17                 5 April 2021


APE:  31 March 2016             31 March 2020 (i.e. now out of time.  Late Claim proceedings would be required.)

APE:  31 March 2017             31 March 2021

What does this mean for me?
Firstly, you need to check the deadline for making the specific claim you need: and then file it in time.  If you miss the deadline you will have to have a Reasonable Excuse and you need to make a Late Claim fairly soon after that situation changes.  HMRC are likely to challenge your Late Claim.

How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help?
Lynam Tax Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in making successful claims, including: Reasonable Excuse Late Claims; and in handling appeals cases where HMRC dispute the Reasonable Excuse in Late Claim cases.  We can advise you on the best course of action, in order to obtain the optimum outcome.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call today:

Paul Lynam:  0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown:  07718 778710