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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Enquiries: Action: Adjustment needed to the award and the year following the enquiry is the current year

If after considering the claimants reply, you have now resolved your concerns, you can make a decision based on your conclusions. This might mean you terminate the whole of your award or you might only need to adjust part of the award. For example the risks were an Undisclosed Partner and Child Care Costs high compared to income. The claimant has convinced you they do not have a partner but they have overstated their child care costs. You will, therefore, adjust the amount claimed for child care costs.

Before taking any action to adjust the award you must consider whether any adjustments are needed to an earlier award. For example the enquiry has established that child care costs are incorrect and were also overstated in the previous year. If an earlier year also needs to be adjusted see CCM14205. However, you must not go back to PY-1 or earlier years without agreed and documented approval from your manager. After issuing the letter in CCM14106, BF your papers for 7 days and then continue as shown below.

You must write to the claimant(s) to let them know about your decision. You should always write to them even if you have spoken to them and explained to them the position on the phone.

You must use the standard letter template TCC94. The letter explains your conclusion and they will soon receive a formal notification of their award.

Where the claim has been made by a couple in a joint household, only one letter should be sent addressed to both claimants. When sending out joint letters the claimants 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 still be sent to each claimant.

If the claimant has authorised an agent to act for them remember to send a copy of the letter to the agent.

You should take the necessary system action to amend the award as soon as possible after you send the letter, and close the case on TCW on the same day you make the decision. The system will send out a revised award notice. This decision is made under S19. Where your adjustment is anything other than child care costs the system, will automatically make any adjustment for the current year. This is made under S16. Where the adjustment is child care you will need to make the adjustment for the current year. The claimant then has 30 days to appeal against your decision.

If an adjustment is needed for an earlier year you will also need to send a letter closing that year. You will then need to amend the award for that year before you make any adjustment for the enquiry year.

If the claimant appeals, see CCM16330. If the claimant does not appeal you can close the case.