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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Pursuit: suspensions: recording a manual suspension

Debt Management Offices and Banking Operations can record a suspension manually on any AP using Function RSUS (Record / Amend Suspension), even if there is no charge posting on the record.

An inappropriate suspension causes unnecessary work for others in reviewing the company record and correspondence received. Some of the circumstances in which suspension is not to be used are where:

  • the company makes an unsupported claim that a repayment is due
  • the owning office report that their file is missing
  • correspondence has been returned undelivered
  • correspondence is a duplicate copy of earlier letter or letters to the responsible office and it is clear that the owning office has dealt with the letter or letters
  • Correspondence requests postponement of a determination.

Where you decide not to suspend:

  • reply appropriately to the company and continue pursuit or
  • send the correspondence to the responsible office, advise the company and, if appropriate B/F for a reply.

Where it is appropriate, a suspension is recorded on the company record using Function RSUS (Record / Amend Suspension).

The rest of this subject is presented as follows.

Amount to suspend
Period of suspension
Suspension type

Amount to suspend

You can suspend any amount on an AP. The following table gives general guidelines.

Circumstances Amount to be suspended
No charge on the AP Only as much as is necessary, such as the amount on an incorrectly completed cheque returned for correction.
Charge posted on the AP Normally, the whole or part of the collectible amount.
However, you may have to suspend more than the collectible amount, such as when you accept a post dated cheque in anticipation of a further charge.

If you suspend tax, COTAX also suspends only the associated accruing late payment interest.

This means that the issue of payment applications continues for unsuspended liability as follows.

If all of a collectible tax amount is suspended, payment applications continue for:

  • any unsuspended collectible penalty
  • interest accrued but not charged on previously paid tax, including credit, debit and late payment interest
  • interest charged but not suspended.

If part of any outstanding amount is suspended, payment applications continue for:

  • the remaining unsuspended outstanding amount
  • interest accrued but not charged on previously paid tax.

Where all of the outstanding amount on an AP is suspended, the pursuit status in Function VPPD (View Payment and Posting Details) is changed to ‘SUSPENDED’. However, if the suspension is for part of the outstanding amount, the pursuit status is not changed.

Suspended amounts are treated as collectible for statistical purposes.

Debt Management Offices must not amend the amount shown on IDMS following the input of a suspension to COTAX.

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Period of suspension

A suspension can be in force for up to 60 days. When you enter a suspension enter:

  • the date you want the suspension to end or
  • a specified number of days.

If an unsuspended amount is about to be referred for local action and there is also a suspended amount on the AP, the total amount referred for local action includes the suspended amount.

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Suspension type

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) suspension type number (Word 54KB)(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) The suspension type number is input when the suspension is first recorded or later amended.

See COM111011 for a list of functions to use in particular situations.