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HMRC internal manual

Collection of Student Loans Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Glossary of terms

Glossary of terms

             

 

  ## A
   
Attachable earnings The amount of earnings available, from which Court Order deductions are made. This will not normally be the same as gross pay.

This amount is not used for calculating Student Loan deductions but may be relevant if

  • There is a protected level of earnings stipulated in a Court Order (below which no deductions can be made)

    And

  • The balance between the net attachable earnings, (attachable earnings less Court Order deductions) and the protected level of earnings is less than the Student Loan deductions    
        ## B
      Balancing payment A balancing payment is the total amount of liability from the SA return less any payments already made.

The balancing payment

  • Can include the balance of any unpaid payments on account

    But

  • Does not include any interest or penalties    
      BROCS Business Review Of the Collection Service is the Banking Operations computer system.

Each employer or contractor required to make a return (with the exception of DC cases where the taxpayer does not account for his own NIC) has a record held on this system.

Banking Operations use these records to

  • Make bulk issues of

    • Returns to employers and contractors near the tax year end
    • Reminders for returns and amounts outstanding
  • Keep a record of payments
  • Advise Debt management offices when to follow up outstanding returns
  • Advise offices responsible for processing of some amounts overpaid    
        ## D
      Data Protection Officers Data Protection Officers (DPOs) have been appointed for each office throughout the Department to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act within their area. See the Data Protection Act website for more information.

The DPOs are responsible for ensuring

  • Systems are covered by one or more of the Department’s registrations
  • That subject access enquiries are dealt with correctly and expeditiously within their area
They are the first points of contact for the Data Protection SAR Unit on all DPA matters within their office.    
  Data Protection Unit The Data Protection Unit (DPU) is responsible for all the administrative aspects of operating the Data Protection Act (DPA) within the Department. This includes
  • Making of registrations
  • Control of subject access enquiries
  • Supply of information
  • Handling of any disputes
  • Liaison with the Data Registrar’s Office on all DPA matters

Further information about registration procedures and subject access enquiries can be obtained from

Data Protection SAR Unit

Room BP5001

Dunstanburgh House

Benton Park View

Longbenton

Newcastle Under Tyne

NE98 1ZZ

Telephone: 0191 225 7575

Fax: 0191 225 3098    
    ## E
  Employments Framework An Employments Framework was created to support
  • Student Loans Business Service (SLBS)
  • Working Families’ Tax Credit (WFTC) and Disabled Person’s Tax Credit (DPTC)
  • Employer Business Service (EBS)
The Employments Framework is a national database of employer and employment records. Employment details are held together for each taxpayer (main source and sub sources) where surname, NINO and date of birth (if present) match.    
    ## G
  Greyed out When on-screen buttons are inactive, that is cannot be selected to perform a task, they are shown in a lighter grey than the active buttons. In guidance you see this referred to as greyed out.

This is done to avoid you using the button until you have entered all mandatory information required before further processing can take place. Greying out reduces the need for validation and therefore the number of error messages that otherwise would be presented to you.

A greyed out button becomes active when, for example, you have

  • Entered all required information

    Or

  • Made a selection from a list box    
        ## I
      Icon An icon is a graphical representation, or picture. Usually you will double click on the icon to access the system, Computer Based Training or Manual represented by the icon.
        ## N
      NINO Each National Insurance contributor is allocated a unique reference, a National Insurance number (NINO), by the National Insurance Contributions Office (NICO).

A NINO consists of two letters then six numerals then one letter.

For example AB123456C

Although the full 9 characters are normally entered on HMRC computer records, it is usually sufficient to enter only the first 8 characters to access the computer record.    
    ## O
  Organisation Unit An Organisation Unit is an office or Management Unit within an office.

A unique 6 numeral identifier is allocated to each Organisation Unit.

The first numeral is the office type identifier, that is

  • ‘2’ for offices responsible for processing and technical work irrespective of any debt management activities they may perform
  • ‘3’ for offices which exclusively perform debt management work

Followed by

  • The three numeral office number, including any leading zeros

Followed by

  • The two numeral Management Unit number, including a leading zero, if appropriate
For example, Management Unit 05 in Processing Office 091 is identified as ‘209105’    
    ## P
  Pre-defined value (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)    
  Processing office The Processing Office is responsible for
  • The PAYE taxpayer and employer records
  • General maintenance of the SA record
  • Day to day work
  • Processing of the returns
  • Certain aspects of compliance work
  • Customer education and support    
      Protected earnings level The level of protected earnings is the amount of the taxpayer’s earnings that must be available to the taxpayer after deduction of Court Orders. This will be specified in the order.

The protected level of earnings also applies to Student Loan deductions if

  • There is also a priority Court Order in force against the borrower

    And

  • The Court Order specifies a protected level of earnings

In this case the total deductions, (Court Order(s) plus Student Loan deductions), must not reduce the net income below the protected level of earnings.

If there are several priority Court Orders against the same borrower it is possible that there will be more than one level of protected earnings. For calculating Student Loan deductions, use the most recent level of protected earnings.    
    ## R
  Rate The rate is a percentage which must be applied to income in excess of the threshold to compute the amount of Student Loan repayments.

The rate is stipulated in The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009.

The rate for calculating student loan repayments is

From 6 April 2000 - 9 per cent of income in excess of the threshold    
    ## S
  Start notices A Start Notice (form SL1) is a computer generated form that is automatically sent to an employer when either
  • A successful match is achieved between the Students Loan Company record of borrowers and the HMRC PAYE computers

    Or

  • A form P45 relating to a borrower is processed by HMRC and has no entry in the Student Loans box

The Start Notice instructs the employer to start making Student Loan deductions from the first available pay day after the Student Loan deduction start date shown on the notice.

Start Notices are not issued annually in respect of the same borrower. The instructions in the Start Notice continue to apply until the loan is repaid or otherwise cancelled.

There is no clerical version of the Start Notice and stocks are not supplied to local offices.    
  Stop notices A Stop Notice (form SL2) is a computer generated form that is automatically sent to an employer when either
  • The Student Loans Company estimate that a loan is about to be repaid

    Or

  • The loan is to be cancelled or Student Loan deductions are to cease for some other reason

The Stop Notice instructs the employer to stop making Student Loan deductions on the first available pay day after the Student Loan deduction stop date shown on the Notice.

There is no clerical version of the Stop Notice and stocks are not supplied to local offices.    
  Student loan customer reference number This is the number by which the borrower is identified by the Student Loans Company.
The number is made up of 13 numeric characters.    
  Subject access enquiries Data subjects are individuals for whom information is recorded on computer, or on clerical records. Subject access enquiries are applications from individuals for details of the information about themselves that is held by HMRC.
  Switched on Borrowers within SA are only required to make Student Loan repayment under SA if they have been notified (switched on) by the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Student Loans Company issues notices to borrowers, and the Board of Inland Revenue, on behalf of the Secretary of State.
The notice specifies the first year of assessment for which repayment is due, and applies to all subsequent years of assessment unless the Secretary of State has switched off the borrower by notifying the first year that repayment ceases under SA.    
  Switched off The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) will notify the borrower the first year that repayment ceases under SA. The Student Loans Company issues notices to borrowers, and the Board of Inland Revenue, on behalf of the Secretary of State.

A notice will be issued where any of the following apply

  • The loan has been repaid in full
  • Sufficient deductions to repay the loan will be made by the specified date
  • The loan has been cancelled
Borrowers within SA will cease to make payments when they are switched off and notified.    
    ## T
  Technical office Responsibility for SA records is allocated by work activity type. The Technical Office is responsible for
  • Enquiry / investigation work
  • Compliance work
  • Other accounts related matters
  • Technical queries    
      Threshold The threshold is the amount above which Student Loan repayments should be paid.

The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009 refer to an annual threshold and explain what income must be taken into account to determine whether the threshold is exceeded.

Employers making Student Loan deductions will apply the proportion of the threshold appropriate to the pay period in calculating the amount of Student Loan repayments to deduct.

The amount of the threshold is as follows

From 6 April 2005 - Annual threshold £15,000

From 6 April 2012 - Annual threshold £15,795

From 6 April 2013 - Annual threshold £16,365

From 6 April 2014 - Annual threshold £16,910

From 6 April 2015 - Annual Threshold £17,335

From 6 April 2016 - Annual Threshold for plan 1 £17,495

From 6 April 2016 - Annual Threshold for plan 2 £21,000    
    ## U
  Unique taxpayer reference A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) is a unique set of 10 numerals allocated automatically by the computer when a taxpayer is set up on SA.
  Unmatched pool P14 details are received electronically from the National Insurance Contributions Office (NICO). On receipt, an attempt is made electronically to match any P14 containing Student Loan deductions to the correct employment for the correct taxpayer.
Where a match is unsuccessful, the Student Loans Business Service will hold the electronic P14 in an unmatched pool of forms P14.    
  User role A user role reflects a particular job, and will determine the functions that you can use to perform that job.

Each office is allocated those user roles, and the functions associated with those roles, that are necessary to perform its business.

Your office manager will allocate the user roles you need to perform your job.

You can be given any number of user roles, depending on the activities that you are expected to perform.    
    ## W
  Windows Windows is the name given to the graphically based computer operating system employed on most personal computers (PCs). The majority of HMRC mainframe computer systems use a Windows type operating environment to communicate with operators.
The Student Loans Business Service (SLBS) looks and acts in the same way as Windows based programmes like ‘Word’ and ‘Excel’.