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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Appeals: handling appeals and postponements: informal standover in responsible CT office

Informal standovers can be requested by a company or its agent, but they may also arise from an internal request. For example, Debt Management may request the temporary standover of a debt while they process a reallocation from a PAYE overpayment.

An informal standover must always be considered carefully by a decision maker, who is usually the same person as would consider a formal postponement application. The decision maker is responsible for ensuring that any informal standover is justified on the facts of each case.

Reason for informal standover application

Informal standovers must be supported by a valid reason. The following list gives some possible examples.

  • Amendments or other information received during the course of an enquiry to clearly suggest a decrease in the charge.
  • Loss carry-back claims.
  • Group relief claims.
  • Reallocation of CT money held elsewhere, for example another accounting period or another group company.
  • Reallocation from outside CT, such as PAYE or CIS.
  • There is an appealable charge for which you know a formal appeal and postponement application will be received within the 30 day appeal period and you intend to fully accept both.

There are circumstances when we should not make an informal standover. This depends on the facts of each case, but examples include the following.

  • Avoiding payment of tax pending relief not yet due under S458 CTA 2010 (formerly S419(4) ICTA 1988) for tax suffered under S455 CTA 2010 (formerly S419 ICTA 1988).
  • A revenue determination has been issued in the absence of a Company Tax Return.
  • A company has insufficient funds to pay HMRC. Such cases should be considered by DMB under the ‘time to pay’ arrangements. See the Debt Management and Banking Manual at DMBM800000 onwards.

Accepting an informal standover application

Where the decision maker agrees that an application for informal standover is supported by a valid reason and that it is not appropriate to pursue collection of an outstanding liability for an AP and a formal postponement cannot be made, you must:

  • informally standover the tax or penalty charge using function HAPP (Handle Appeal)
  • identify the case owner who must actively manage the postponement. See COM10120 for further guidance.

Function VAPP (View Appeal) shows formal postponements but not informal standovers. To see the amount of an informal standover, use function VPPD (View Payment and Postings Details), where it appears as posting type ‘ISO’. Informal standovers appear on LASO (Open Appeals and Informal Standovers List). For more information about this work list see COM11000 and COM140000 onwards.

If you use function RAMA (Record / Amend Assessment) to amend an assessment or PPEN (Prepare Penalty Determination) to amend a penalty determination, any informal standover on the charge is automatically cancelled.

See COM10071 for a list of functions to use in particular situations.