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HMRC internal manual

Collection of Student Loans Manual

FAQs: employers questions and answers: start notice held - t/p was never a student

Suggested answer

Do not start making deductions.

Give me full details of the employee and I will check out the position and phone back.

HMRC action

  • Contact the Student Loans Company, explain the problem, and verify whether the taxpayer is a borrower
  • If the employee is not a borrower

    • Tell the employer to ignore the Start Notice and not to make any deductions
    • Explain that a Stop Notice will be issued in due course. This should be filed away with the Start Notice
    • Confirm your instructions in writing and retain a copy of the letter
  • If, exceptionally, the taxpayer is found to be a borrower

    • Tell the employer to make deductions in accordance with the instructions given on the Start Notice
    • Ask the employer to request that the taxpayer phones the Student Loans Company (0300 100 0611) if he or she wishes to pursue the matter. The employer should not phone the Student Loans Company


1. This is one of the very few scenarios where an employer can stop making deductions before a Stop Notice is received
2. The need to confirm the instructions to the employer in writing is to protect the employer in the event of a compliance visit
3. The employer should never be told to phone the Student Loans Company. They will deal only with the borrower