This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Repayments / reallocations: non automatic repayments: intervention in automatic repayments

You must make repayments of CT using COTAX, except on specific instructions from Head Office.In the first instance, contact the COTAX Business Help Desk(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) to request authority. See COM124000 for information about large repayments.

Where the conditions are met, COTAX will repay to debit or credit card. Those conditions are that:

  • the last payment on the last AP in the repayment was made by debit or credit card
  • the repayment is not for only interest
  • the card payment was made less than nine months ago
  • the repayment does not exceed the amount of the card payment.

COTAX applies the conditions and you cannot and must not try to override repayment to debit or credit card where COTAX tells you that is the method it is going to use.

Where those conditions are not met, you must use Bacs to make repayment to the recipient’s bank or building society account whenever possible.

For Bacs repayments:

  • the company or its authorised agent must provide the necessary details of the company’s, or its nominee’s, bank or building society account
  • the credit is normally made to the recipient’s account on the third working day after you authorise the repayment
  • COTAX only records the ‘date of issue’ when it receives confirmation of a successful credit, which is usually five working days after the repayment is authorised.

You can see the status of the repayment by using function VPPD (View Payment and Posting Details), selecting the repayment posting on the payments and posting screen and using the [OK] button.

Where no Bacs details are available, you should contact the company to explain the benefits of Bacs and get these details. You should ask for the Bacs details to be faxed on company headed paper.

COTAX stores Bacs and any nominee details and for non-credit or debit card repayments, uses the details received from the latest of:

  • an original or amended return
  • an update made by using function BOND (Bank and / or Nominee Details).

COTAX displays the details in function DIRR (Direct Repayment) and you should check them to ensure that the repayment is paid to the correct account.

Where the company advises you that the repayment should be made to a different account to that shown on the Bank and / or Nominee Details in VTPR (View Taxpayer), you can enter them in DIRR (screen COT171J). Those details are used only for this repayment and do not overwrite the details held on the COTAX record. If you want the details to be stored on the COTAX record for future use, you should enter them using function BOND.

To make a repayment using CHAPS, you need to transfer the overpayment to the CT Unit in Cumbernauld and make the repayment through OAS. You should also use COTAX function NOTE to record what you have done. Repayments made by this method are not recorded on COTAX and therefore not reflected in VPPD (View Payments and Posting Details). If you need the CHAPS details at a later date, you must contact the CT Unit for them.

COTAX does not issue a payable order to a company address that is recorded as RLS and if you try to make the repayment using function DIRR (Direct Repayment), COTAX rejects the repayment details and shows a message telling you why.

For security reasons, COTAX does not repay an amount of £150,000 or more by payable order. These must be made wherever possible by Bacs. You can make these using the manual payable order process only in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptionally, if a company cannot receive a repayment by Bacs or payable order because it does not have a bank account, contact the COTAX Business Help Desk(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) for assistance.

You should note the following.

  • Except in exceptional circumstances, you should not use CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) to make large repayments of Income Tax, tax credits or other duties that COTAX will not process. If you are asked to use CHAPS for these repayments or as a preference to Bacs, you must first contact the COTAX Business Help Desk (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .
  • Repayments of CT for APs ending on or before 30 September 1993 must be made by the DMB Miscellaneous Charges unit, and you should use the SEES SAFE Repayments stencil (SAFE 1) to ask them to do so. Where these repayments attract repayment supplement (Word 29KB), see the Relief Instructions Manual at RE3195 onwards.
  • You should only make large repayments of £150,000 using the manual payable order process where you are unable to obtain bank details.


  • COM125020 for more information on manual repayments outside COTAX
  •  COM125011 for a list of functions to use in particular situations.