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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

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Appeals: handling appeals and postponements: Actively managing postponements and standovers (Action Guide)

To ensure that all postponements and standovers are actively managed, the case owner and the manager must review each case at the appropriate time and consider steps 1 to 18. This guide is presented as follows.

New cases Steps 1 - 4
Reviewing cases - case owner Steps 5 - 9
SAFE standovers Steps 10 - 15
Manager’s review Steps 16 - 18

New cases

1.  Once a formal postponement or informal standover has been recorded on COTAX, the case appears on the LASO (Open Appeals and Informal Standovers) work list. As soon as you have made a postponement or standover, you must use LASO and select the work list entry.

2.  Select the B/F option and enter:

  • the case owner’s PID in the B/F notes
  • a B/F date to review the case no more than three months from the date of entry on LASO.

There is one exception to this rule, the Exit Charge on migrating companies where a caseworker has agreed deferral of that charge. See step 18 below.

3.  For all formal postponements of tax, use function NOTE (Case Notes) to record ‘formal SO’ with the AP end date, manager’s PID, case owner’s PID and a short explanation for the reason for the postponement.

4.  For all informal standovers of tax, unless there is firm evidence to say that it will be cleared within three months, use Function NOTE to record ‘informal SO’ along with the AP end date, manager’s PID, case owner’s PID and a short explanation for the reason for the standover.

The case owner must be agreed at the outset and depending on the circumstances of each case this may be the decision maker, the caseworker or someone else with an interest or responsibility.

If the responsible case owner or manager change, you must update LASO and COTAX case notes immediately with the new owner’s details.

You do not need to make a COTAX case note for penalty charges unless there is good reason to do so.

Reviewing cases - case owner

5.  Use the LASO work list to filter cases where the B/F date has expired.

6.  View the case.

  • Review the case in full, including the appeal where there is one and all payment aspects, to see if the postponement or standover is still appropriate. You may find that you need to renegotiate the postponed amount with the company using the established CT64-5 procedure.
  • Were the postponement or standover is ongoing, go to step 7.
  • Where the postponement or standover is no longer correct or appropriate go to step 8 for formal postponements or step 9 for informal standovers.

7.  Enter a new B/F date on LASO not exceeding six months.

  • Continue to review the case every six months until the postponement or standover is cleared.
  • Refer the case to your manager or case lead for a manager’s review when the review date nearest to 18 months from the date of entry on LASO is reached.
  • Repeat the manager’s review when the postponement or standover has been on LASO for more than 30 months, and at each 12 month point thereafter.

8.  Where there is no amendment to the assessment or the penalty determination, use function HAPP (Handle Appeals) to record the determination of the appeal. See COM10063 for further guidance.

Where an amendment is required, use function RAMA (Record / Amend Assessment) and / or PPEN (Prepare Penalty Determination). See COM10060 for further guidance.

Where the amount postponed has been reconsidered or renegotiated use:

  • function HAPP (Handle Appeals) to record the newly agreed postponed amount
  • function NOTE to record ‘formal SO, AP End Date, case owner’s PID, postponement reduced/increased at review date xx/xx/xxxx’.

9.  Where there is no amendment to the assessment or the penalty determination, use HAPP to cancel the informal standover. See COM10072 for further guidance.

Where an amendment is required, use function RAMA / or PPEN. See COM10070 for further guidance.

Where the amount stoodover has been reconsidered or renegotiated use:

  • HAPP (Handle Appeals) to record the newly agreed stoodover amount
  • function NOTE to record ‘informal SO, AP End Date, case owner’s PID, standover reduced/increased at review date xx/xx/xxxx’.

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SAFE standovers

The quarterly SAFE standovers review list is issued by the CT Process team (CTIS) in January, April, July and October and must be reviewed, entries updated and returned within two months of the issue date.

The column headed ‘current owner PID’ either contains an entry of ‘new’ or the PID of the case owner from which you can filter the list.

  1. Filter the list when you receive it to identify new and existing cases.

  2. For all new cases:

  • replace ‘new’ with the PID of the case owner
  • review the case in full and enter the date of review in the ‘date of latest review’ column
  • complete the ‘notes’ column with a short explanation for the standover.
  1. For existing cases, select those for review where the last review date is between five and six months ago.

Review the case in full, including any appeal and all payment aspects, to see if the standover is still appropriate. You may find that you need to reconsider the stoodover amount or renegotiate it with the company.

  1. Where the standover is still appropriate:
  • enter the date the review was carried out in the ‘date of latest review’ column and if appropriate update the ‘notes’ column
  • continue to review the case every six months until the standover has cleared
  • refer the case to your manager or case lead at the review date nearest to 18 months from when the standover was recorded as shown in the column ‘date SO’
  • repeat this action at each 12 month point after this.
  1. Where the standover is no longer appropriate:
  • contact the nominated SAFE user and provide details of the amendment / standover release so that the record can be updated
  • update the ‘date of latest review’ column
  • complete the ‘note’ column with details of the amendment / standover release.
  1. Return the completed review list to the CT Process team.

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Manager’s review

  1. The manager or case lead must review the case in full, including any appeal and all other aspects of the case, to ensure that the postponement or standover is still appropriate. On completion of the review they should do the following.
  • For COTAX cases, use function NOTE to confirm the review has been carried out. The note should advise of the AP or APs, amount postponed, review date and the PID of the manager.
  • For SAFE cases, update the SAFE standovers review list in the ‘manager’s review’ column with ‘reviewed and agreed’, with the date of the review and the manager’s PID.
  1. Repeat this process every 12 months until the postponement or standover has been cleared.

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Deferral of Exit charges

  1. FA 2013 introduced a provision for companies to apply for a deferral of the exit charge via an Exit Charge Payment Plan. See s59FA TMA70 for more information. You can find more guidance on the technical procedures is in the Company Taxation Manual at CTM34139.

The plan is agreed by the technical caseworker, who confirms the amount to be informally postponed and the B/F date to use.

  • Under the standard instalment method the B/F date is the next instalment due date.
  • Under the realisation method the B/F date is the date when the next annual statement is due.

The COTAX note should follow the format described at step 4 above, plus any agreed Directorate indicators, with ‘Exit Charge Payment Plan’ entered as the reason for the standover.

At the B/F date a caseworker should follow steps 5, 6 and 9 above, ensuring all events and requirements under the plan since the previous review are considered or followed up in accordance with the instructions in the CTM. Any tax then collectible under the plan should be released, using function HAPP to amend the stoodover amount. Follow the rules above to decide the new B/F date to set for any amounts that remain stoodover.

The original due date is not changed by the deferral of exit charges. Once a previously stoodover sum is released for collection and paid, COTAX charges late payment interest from the original due date to the date of payment.