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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Opening and Working Enquiries: Enquiry notice - joint entitlement - notice not given to both persons

If you discover that you have not given notice to both persons in the case of a joint entitlement, you should immediately take steps to remedy the situation. If you are still within the time limit for doing so, you should issue an enquiry notice to the member to whom you have not already issued one. You should use the relevant opening letter, adapting it to the particular circumstances of the case. For example, if you have discovered the omission at an early stage, it may be appropriate to repeat the content of your original opening letter. If, however, you have already obtained some information you should tailor the standard opening letter text so it is relevant to the stage your enquiry has reached. In all cases you should explain to both members of the couple that you have discovered that your original letter did not validly open the enquiry, because you did not give a notice to each of the persons you ought to have.

If the enquiry window has closed by the time you discover that you have not given a notice to both members of a couple, you will not be able to continue with your enquiry. You may however be able to obtain further information about the entitlement for the year if you are able to make a discovery decision. Guidance on working discovery decisions can be found in CCM13000.