DOTAS: what to do if you are given a scheme reference number?

At a glance

  • A scheme reference number (SRN) allows HMRC to identify users of disclosed tax avoidance schemes under the Disclosure of tax avoidance schemes regime (DOTAS)
  • A SRN is supplied by promoters on form AAG 6.
  • Scheme users must report the 8-digit SRN to HMRC, normally in their tax returns, but, in some circumstances, it must be reported separately on a special HMRC form.

If provided with an SRN, you must:

  • provide it to any other person who you might reasonably expect to be a party to, and whom might reasonably be expected to gain a tax advantage from, the scheme, and
  • do so within 30 days of the later of either being provided with the SRN by the promoter or becoming aware of any transaction that forms part of the scheme.

Within ten days of the later of the date that the you receive an SRN or the date you first enter into a transaction forming part of the arrangements, you must notify the promoter of your:

  • NI number
  • Unique taxpayer reference (UTR), or
  • if these do not exist, confirmation that you do not hold them.

Specific rules

Rules for different types of taxes are explained below.

Income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax or NICs

If you have an SRN and expect to obtain a tax advantage in connection with income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax or NICs as a result of being a party to the scheme, you must:

  • include the SRN on your tax return or form AAG 4, and
  • state the last day of the year of assessment, tax year, accounting period or earnings period in which, or the date on which, you expect the advantage to be obtained.

However, if one of the following applies, you must only use form AAG 4 to provide the information:

  • You are an employer of an employee, by reason of whose employment a tax or NI contribution advantage is expected to arise
  • You expect to get a tax or NI contribution advantage, but do not have a return on which you would be required to enter the information
  • You are late submitting the return for the relevant period
  • You have submitted the return for the relevant period, but not included the relevant information
  • You need to notify more SRNs than there are spaces on the return, or
  • The scheme gives rise to a claim to relief made separately from your return in connection with treating a trade loss, etc as a CGT loss or any of the loss relief provisions within Part 4 of ITA2007 (in which case, you must also notify the SRN on the relevant income tax or corporation tax return).

You must continue to do this for every subsequent year or period until the advantage ceases to apply.

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT)

For SDLT schemes, the SRN must be reported using form AAG 4 (SDLT). If you are a purchaser for SDLT purposes and expect to receive a SDLT advantage, you must also provide certain other information (see below); and you must continue to do this for each subsequent transaction in which you expect to get a SDLT advantage from the scheme.

Form AAG 4 (SDLT) should be sent to the Anti-Avoidance Group (Intelligence) in sufficient time for it to be received within 30 days of the later of:

  • receiving an SRN from the promoter or another party to the scheme, and
  • the “effective date” (for SDLT purposes; see section 119, FA 2003) of the first land transaction which forms part of the scheme.

The following information should be entered on form AAG 4 (SDLT):

  • the SRN
  • the name and address of the person providing the SRN
  • the address of the property forming the subject of the arrangements
  • the title number(s) of the property
  • the unique transaction reference number
  • the market value of the property 
  • the effective date of the first land transaction forming part of the arrangement, and
  • the name of the person providing the declaration about the accuracy and completeness of the notification, and the capacity in which that person is acting.

Regardless of who provides the information, the signatory should always be purchaser’s.

Inheritance tax (IHT)

If you have an SRN and expect to get a tax advantage as a result of being a party to an IHT scheme, you must:

  • Include the SRN on your IHT account (form IHT100) or on form AAG 4 (IHT), and
  • State the tax year in which, or date on which, you expect the advantage to be obtained.

You must notify HMRC of the information within 12 months of the end of the month in which you first entered into a transaction forming part of the notifiable arrangements. You must then enter the information on your IHT account (form IHT100) if:

  • You are liable to submit an inheritance account (form IHT100) in connection with a transaction forming part of the notifiable arrangements, and
  • The statutory time limit for submitting the inheritance account is no later than the date by which you must notify the SRN and you submit the account within that time limit.

In all other situations, you must enter the information on form AAG 4 (IHT).

The following information should be entered on form AAG 4 (IHT):

  • the SRN
  • the name and address of the person providing the SRN
  • the unique taxpayer reference of the person providing the SRN, if one exists
  • the IHT reference number, if one exists
  • the tax year in which, or the date on which, the person expects to get the IHT advantage, and
  • the name of the person providing the declaration as to the accuracy and completeness of the notification.

The person obtaining the IHT advantage from the arrangements should sign the declaration. The form may be drafted by a solicitor, legal executive or accountant, but the person obtaining the advantage must ensure that the information given on the AAG 4 (IHT) is complete and correct, and sign the declaration to that effect.

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)

If you expect to get a tax advantage as a result of being party to an ATED scheme, you must:

  • include the SRN on your ATED return or on form AAG 4 (ATED), and
  • state the chargeable period in which you expect the advantage to be obtained.

You must also notify HMRC of the SRN and other required information within 30 days of the later of:

  • the effective date of the first transaction forming part of the arrangements, or
  • the date of the receipt of the SRN.

In addition, you must enter the above information on your ATED return if:

  • You are liable to submit an ATED return, and
  • The statutory time limit for submitting the ATED return is no later than the date by which you must notify the SRN and you submit the return within that time limit.

In all other situations, you must enter the information on form AAG 4 (ATED).

The following information should be entered on form AAG 4 (ATED):

  • the SRN
  • the name and address of the person providing the SRN
  • the address of the relevant property
  • the title number or numbers of the property
  • any tax reference number or other business unique identifier allocated by HMRC or a foreign tax authority (and, if a foreign authority has allocated a business unique identifier, the name of the relevant country and the type of business unique identifier allocated)
  • the first chargeable period in which the person expects to get the ATED tax advantage, and
  • the name of the person providing the declaration as to the accuracy and completeness of the notification and the capacity in which they are acting.

Where do I obtain and send forms?

All relevant forms should be sent to:

Anti-Avoidance Group (Intelligence)
HM Revenue & Customs
CTIAA Intelligence S0528
PO Box 194 Bootle
L69 9AA

You can obtain and submit HMRC forms in connection with DOTAS here  where there are also PDF versions available. Or you can contact the Anti-Avoidance Group (Intelligence) at the above address. Paper copies can be obtained by telephoning 08459 000404 or by faxing on 08459 000604. Completed forms should be sent either by post to the above address or by e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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