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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Alternative rights of recovery (PAYE directions): cases submitted by caseworkers under EM8701 and EM8710: general

Caseworkers involved in enquiry work may, under EM8701 and EM8710, request the directions team to consider making a direction and decision. 

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

Action taken by caseworkers

Prior to referring cases, the caseworker will establish that

  • relevant payments have been received and the extent of these
  • an under-deduction of tax has taken place (and/or the employer has failed to pay the employee’s primary Class 1 NIC)
  • there has been a wilful failure on behalf of the employer
  • the employee was aware of the wilful failure 
  • the tax/employee’s primary Class 1 NIC remains unpaid.

If necessary, the caseworker can

  • make formal contact with the Specialist Employer Compliance directions team to ascertain if sufficient facts have been established to enable a direction and decision to be made, see COG931870 with regard to the information to be included with a submission
  • warn the employee that a direction and decision is being sought
  • invite any representations that the employee may wish to make
  • allow sufficient time for these to be made
  • answer any response received and file the reply in the case papers.

It should not be necessary for directions staff to issue a warning letter and/or request representations, as the originating office should already have dealt with this. However see below if it is felt that further information from the employee is required.

Action taken by directions caseworker on receipt of referrals

  • Treat it as a priority submission and deal with it immediately using the information provided by the caseworker (see COG931870).
  • Satisfy yourself that there is sufficient information within the papers to decide on the merits of a direction and decision.
  • Liaise with the caseworker for clarification of any uncertainties. 
  • Check that any open appeals against Revenue Amendments/discovery assessments have been resolved.
  • If representations have been made these should have been dealt with by the originating office. No further contact should be made with the employee unless you consider it necessary to obtain further information.
  • Prepare a submission and direction/decision notice for referral to the SO authorised officer (COG932130).
  • If the direction and decision is made return any files and papers to the caseworker under cover of a suitable memo and forward a copy of the direction and decision made, together with copies of any further correspondence exchanged.
  • If an appeal is received against the direction and decision see COG932810 onwards.
  • If the SO authorised officer declines to make a direction and decision notify the caseworker accordingly.