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Does the IR marked return have to be approved?

Does the IR marked return have to be approved?

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A bit of a debate going on just now in the office as to what actually needs approved by the client.

It’s a corporation tax return that has kicked this off although I think the same principal applies to personal returns. I never send the IR marked return for approval. I only ever send the computation and CT600, and this is approved through our portal.

I can see the rationale behind sending the IR mark – it proves nothing has changed from what the client has approved. But that same thing can be proved by looking at the non-IR marked return they approved and comparing it to what was submitted.

CIOT guidance only says “A member should obtain evidence of the client’s approval of the filing in electronic or nonelectronic form.”

The CT600 guide says: “Before the return is sent, the agent must make a copy of the information and receive confirmation from the proper officer or other person authorised to act for the company that the information is correct and complete to the best of that person's knowledge and belief.”

So there doesn’t appear to be any requirement to have the IR return approved – so long as you have proof that the information you send has been approved by the client.

Does anyone know if there are any requirements set down in law?

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By nameistaken
29th Apr 2019 12:48

Whats the logic here?
Save your neck anything you submit to hmrc must be approved by clients. IRmark means they have the same copy you have submitted.

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By adam.arca
29th Apr 2019 13:02

AFAIAA, and agreeing with you, OP, there's no requirement that the IR marked return be the one approved. As you say, push comes to shove, it's pretty simple to prove that the submitted return and the signed return are substantively the same even where IR mark is different.

We have a frequent issue with our CT returns (we use Taxcalc), which we just live with, where the IR mark changes for no apparent reason when we come to submit the return and after we've had it signed off by the client: we're guessing it must be due to software upgrades. It doesn't seem to be an issue with our SA returns (where we use BTC).

All that said, it's obviously preferable that the final IR marked return also be the one which is signed, just in terms of client and expectation management.

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