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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: settlement: contract settlements - SAFE: general

The Strategic Accounting Framework Environment (SAFE) provides IT support for the collection and accounting of miscellaneous charges including Class 6 settlement charges.

Each Business Stream has a range of SAFE roles and these are allocated to ‘SAFE nominees’ as appropriate to deal with any miscellaneous SAFE charges.

The Local Compliance Centralised SAFE Team, based in Edinburgh, deal with:

  • setting up and obtaining customer account references prior to request for payments on account (POA)
  • raising and amending Class 6 contract settlement charges.

Setting up or obtaining a customer account

Once you have established an inaccuracy that is likely to result in further liabilities you must send an email to SAFE, Team Edinburgh to obtain a customer account reference. This should include:

  • the customer’s name
  • address
  • head of duty reference.

You must include in the subject line ‘Set up Customer record’.

Raise contract settlement charges

Once an offer has been approved for acceptance by the appropriate officer (COG914570 - Acceptance) you must complete the Class 6 Contract Settlement SAFE stencil (available in SEES) and send this to SAFE, Team Edinburgh to create a charge on SAFE to account for the offer payable under the contract settlement. You must include in the subject line:

  • ‘Raise Charge’ in cases where there are no Payments on Account held or Instalments required
  • ‘POA/Instalment’ in cases where there are Payments on Account held and/or Instalments are required.

If the offer has been accepted by the Local Compliance Authorising Officer you should date and issue the acceptance letter if already prepared for you.

The offer is shown on the Contract Settlement Form (CSF) Part 2. All payments on account are now held on SAFE (COG915110 - SAFE - How Payments on Account are allocated) which, if the charge is due within 30 days, will automatically deduct them from the offer to arrive at the ‘Amount to be demanded’ on the Notice to pay.

Note: Payments on Account of charges due more than 30 days after the date of issue will not be reflected in the amount to be demanded on the notice to pay.

A SAFE stencil must be fully completed in all cases to enable the SAFE Team to create the charge. In particular you must:

  • provide a breakdown of the settlement into the SAFE duty types for accounting purposes
  • list the payments on account and any repayments available for set off
  • provide a breakdown of the amount and due date for all instalments payments
  • confirm the due date for payment
  • clearly identify any ‘joint and several’ offer between the company and the director or directors (COG914565 - Joint and Several Offers) by including the reference ‘CS Joint&Sev’ immediately after your Compliance Identifier.

Any payments on account will have been locked, see COG915115. When you send the stencil to the SAFE Team they will check and release any locked payments on the day that the charge is raised.

If payments on account are held for a lump sum offer where the due date for payment is more than 30 days, see COG915130.

It is suggested that you anticipate the due date for payment at the time the stencil is completed as 3 days + the number of days specified in the offer. For example, 3 + 30. This will allow sufficient time for the stencil to be processed and the letter of acceptance to be prepared in accordance with COG914570.

Before issuing the stencil you must allow sufficient time for all payments on account and set offs to reach SAFE to make sure the notice to pay (issued centrally by SAFE) is in the correct amount.

Once the charge has been raised, the Centralised SAFE Team will send confirmation by email attaching:

  • the completed settlement stencil
  • a SAFE screen printout.

When the SAFE nominee has confirmed that the charge has been raised you must:

  • issue the letter of acceptance in accordance with the due date in SAFE
  • clear the case on Caseflow using the SAFE reference number provided by the SAFE Team
  • retain the stencil in the papers with the letter of offer and CSF.

See CH411000 for guidance on the format for saving the CSF, letter of offer and letter of acceptance in Caseflow/CRMM.

If the stencil details (employer/contractor address/ payments on account/amounts to be set off) do not match the information held on SAFE it will be returned to you within 3 days, by the SAFE Team, stating the reasons why it has not been actioned.

Amend contract settlement charges

Where there is a requirement to amend a Class 6 charge, see COG915140, you must complete a SAFE charge amendment stencil (SAFE - LC Class 6 amendment stencil) (available in SEES) and send this to SAFE, Team Edinburgh. Include in the subject line ‘Amendment’.

Points for the centralised SAFE team to note

Organisation Unit Identifier (OUID)

SAFE uses the Organisation Unit Identifier (OUID) of the Centralised SAFE Team to determine the name, address and telephone number to include on SAFE Outputs.

The SAFE Team must select the OUID for the caseworker from the ‘Alt Office’ menu.

Identifying the Caseworker

To enable Debt Management (DMB) and the Miscellaneous Charge Unit to identify the caseworker in case they need to contact them the SAFE Team must enter the caseworker’s Compliance Identifier, see COG915115, in the ‘Local ref’ field on SAFE.

See above regarding ‘joint and several’ offers. The reference CS Joint&Sev should be included immediately after the Compliance Identifier in the ‘Local ref’ field on SAFE.

Payments on account

Any payments on account should be locked. Where there are payments on account:

  • check the stencil against SAFE record to ensure the POA held agrees with the details on the stencil
  • raise the charge in SAFE using the agreed compliance identifier
  • check for any payments on account and release any locked payments
  • it is essential that the payment is unlocked on the same day the charge is raised
  • return the stencil to the caseworker, noting the SAFE Charge reference.

Miscellaneous SAFE charges

You must continue to raise other miscellaneous charges through existing arrangements with Local Compliance SAFE nominees and dedicated teams.