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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

How to do a compliance check: starting a compliance check: working with DMB to deal with debt and tackle non compliant customer behaviour: important and significant charges - fast track referral process to DMB Field Force

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To address this, there is a process in place to fast track ‘important and significant’ charges to the DMB Field Force for priority recovery action.

What are ‘important and significant’ charges?

Significant and important charges are those where it is clear that normal collection procedures will not be sufficient to secure the customer’s cooperation and payment.

Examples will include instances where:

  • We have issued daily penalties as a result of a customer’s continuing failure to comply with an information notice. Although they are low in value, these penalties are a key tool in driving up compliance.
  • We have raised an assessment because the amount of tax returned is insufficient, and there is likely to be a loss of tax if this charge is not pursued immediately. Examples of this may include cases where you discover or suspect that the customer intends to avoid payment of tax by

    • becoming non-resident
    • disposing of assets - for individuals this might involve transferring assets to family members so they are protected in the event of bankruptcy proceedings
    • engaging in phoenixism - for companies this may involve going into liquidation with the intention of setting up a new company to carry on the same activity, having transferred the original company’s assets, prior to liquidation, to that new company.

A customer’s conduct during a compliance check indicates that they will not comply with our request to pay their assessed liabilities. When you raise assessments under these circumstances tax may be lost if liabilities are not immediately pursued.

In any of the above or similar such circumstances you will need to make a fast track referral clearly stating why you believe tax will be lost if immediate recovery action is not taken. This must be authorised by a manager of minimum HO grade.

‘Tax in danger’ is suspected

Where there are indications that assets are likely to be moved out of reach of creditors (out of jurisdiction) or the customer is taking steps to pay off all other creditors but HMRC, you must act quickly to secure amounts owing to HMRC. Although these charges may be of relatively low value, they represent a high compliance risk.

Where you know that insolvency is likely and believe that charges should be raised to protect HMRC’s position(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

How to make a fast track referral to DMB Field Force

In penalty cases you will need to observe the 30 day appeal period during which the customer can contest the decision to charge penalties, before referring it for enforcement action. You will need to check on day 31 that neither the information you require nor payment of the penalty charge has been received before referring the case to the DMB Field Force Support Team.

To make a fast track referral to DMB Field Force you must

  • complete the referral stencil IT12 - Sub Field Force Stencil (available in SEES Forms and Letters)
  • have the referral authorised by a manager (minimum HO grade)
  • send it to the (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • quote ‘DMBM617000’ in the subject field of the email
  • provide contact details so that DMB Field Force Collector (FFC) can make contact directly with you to progress the case quickly

Note: The key to a successful outcome is where you provide the FFC with all the information you hold to assist with the visit to the customer

If you are contacted by the customer after making a referral or in response to a distraint or summary warrant warning letter you must let the DMB Field Force Support Team know immediately, as this could affect the case’s suitability for an FFC call. You must email the DMB Field Force Support Team Mailbox, with ‘URGENT UPDATE - DMB617000’ in the subject field, with the information received. You must also update the relevant tax head system with the information received.

More detailed information about the fast track process can be found at DMBM617010+. 

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On conclusion of the case, the DMB Field Force Collector will email the Compliance caseworker, through the DMB Field Force Support Team, with details of the outcome of their call.