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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Opening and Working Enquiries: Information powers - joint entitlement - who to give notice to

Where your enquiry is into the joint entitlement of a couple, you have to give a formal information notice to both members of the couple. This is because

  • both members of the couple are jointly responsible for the information they include on their claim form and on their S17 response
  • both members of the couple should be fully aware of the stage your enquiry has reached, and should have the same opportunity to comply with your requests
  • you may be able to cut down on potential delays by keeping both members fully informed.

Where the claim has been made by a couple in a joint household, only one opening letter should be sent addressed to both customers even if the query only relates to one of the customers. When sending out joint letters the customers must still be part of a couple and residing at the same address. If they are part of a couple but residing at different addresses or no longer part of a couple, then a separate letter must be sent to each customer.