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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Working the examination: Post award: Letter returned RLS or address is false

We are entitled to amend an award under S16 TCA where we have reasonable grounds for believing an award is incorrect.

Where the examination relates to a new claim made within the last 6 weeks and, on review, you have reason to believe the address given was false you can use S16 to terminate the award as of the date of claim. The reason for this is that we have reasonable grounds for believing the claim was fictitious. The claim should be ended with a Household End Date of the date on which the revision is made

In other post-award examinations we cannot terminate an award simply because correspondence has been returned RLS. Set the RLS marker. You should firstly check to see if a new address has been notified and if not you should attempt to contact the claimant by telephone. You should attempt to contact them at least three times at different times of the day and taking into account their working hours. If you are unable to contact them you should arrange for the award to be suspended.

If following the suspension the claimant contact to provide a new address then the suspension should be lifted and the correspondence re-issued to the new address.

If there is no contact following the suspension then after 12 weeks the claim should be terminated from the date of the suspension.

If following the termination the claimant contacts and wishes to appeal the decision, then a manual award notice should be issued to the new address(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) . This is because until this point the claimant has been received a decision notice against which to appeal. Once the manual decision notice is received then the claimant should appeal in writing and normal appeal action taken.

After 5th April

If you have suspended an award and the 12 week b/f date falls after the 5th April then the decision to terminate cannot be made using S16. However as the RLS marker is present no S17 will be issued so we will be unable to make a decision under S18. Even if the claimant provides a new address after 5t h April we have no power to open a compliance check.

These case will have to remain suspended and the case closed and settled as no yield - as we have made no decision on entitlement.