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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Alternative rights of recovery (PAYE directions): primary class 1 NICs: specialist employer compliance processes: varying a decision

A decision can only be varied because information has become available which shows that the information on which the decision was based was inaccurate or incomplete. The new information must

  • relate to a time prior to the decision being made, and
  • not have been properly taken into account in reaching the decision.

The action to take depends on whether or not the decision is under appeal at the time the new information became available. 

You should obtain approval from the Specialist Employer Compliance SO authorised officer where it is established that a decision is required to be varied.

Decision not under appeal

New information may come to light, for example from a third party, where the decision is not under appeal. Where the SO authorised offer approves the variation of the decision you must

  • send a revised Notice of Decision to the person named in the original decision
  • enclose a covering letter stating
    • ‘The Decision issued on [date] is varied to the Notice of Decision enclosed’
    • why the decision has been varied.

If the NIC charge has already been created

  • amend the charge on SAFE
  • inform DMB of any amount that has been discharged where local action is already being taken
  • notify NIC&EO on the Section 8 report form of
    • the change in decision status (COG932680 refers)
    • any amount of contribution to be reinstated on the NIRS2 record (see erroneous decisions below).

The individual has a right of appeal against a varied order.

Decision under appeal

See COG932720 onwards.

‘Decision erroneous’

Where new information shows that a decision is no longer valid because it was based on inaccurate or incomplete information you must

  • obtain approval from the SO authorised officer to vary the decision
  • send an explanatory letter to the person named in the decision
  • notify NIC&EO on the Section 8 report form of
    • the change in decision status (COG932680 refers) and
    • complete part 2 by ticking ‘Please refer to the attached Calculation Support prints and post the paid NICs to the individuals account’ and attach NIRS2 Calculation Support prints showing the amounts to be re-posted.

If the 30 day appeal period has passed and the NIC charge has been referred to the SAFE Team for recovery

  • telephone the SAFE Team and advise them that the original decision is invalid and all amounts are to be discharged
  • cancel the charge on SAFE
  • telephone DMB, if appropriate, to advise of the discharge.