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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: Self Assessment: debt and return background: PCA signal

PCA stands for Priority Collection Action and where the signal is set work items must be dealt with as priority when they are associated to

  • a specialist team, for example ICHU and National Non Residents Unit
  • the Debt Management Telephone Centre (DMTC) dealing with Time to Pay requests.

Where the PCA signal is set and the IDMS responsibility is linked to DMB Campaigns, from January 2010 work items are not reviewed prior to campaigns pursuit action or given priority within the campaign segments. See below.

This signal can be set or unset by any office with function SA AMEND TAXPAYER SIGNALS and IDMS will be updated the following day where there are outstanding IDMS work items. The PCA signal should not be set or unset on IDMS as this will not update the SA system.

The PCA signal is most likely to be set by a specialist team or the Debt Management Telephone Centre (DMTC) when dealing with Time to Pay requests.

Where the PCA signal is already set on SA as soon as a debt or return becomes due the Integrated Debt Management System (IDMS) creates work items and directs these to the Debt Management office with IDMS responsibility.

The reasons for setting the PCA signal are where circumstances, policy or case features point to something which indicates that the case should be clerically reviewed as a priority and should not follow the SA automatic process.

Setting the PCA signal will

  • inhibit automatic repayments, but will not set the No Repayment signal
  • prevent the issue of SA-RITA 500 and SA359 letters
  • present overdue debt and return work item(s), for any amount, to IDMS for clerical review as soon as the debt or return becomes due.

DMB Campaigns

Debt Management Telephone Centre (DMTC)

Where the PCA signal is set for work items already in IDMS and working with the DMTC, IDMS will recognise the PCA signal. The work items will be automatically moved to the C/W SA role and the next action set to Review for the Debt Technical Office (DTO) associated to the specific campaign to look at.

Work items selected for an IDMS99 letter

Where the work items are already included in a DMB Campaign and selected for an IDMS99 letter the PCA signal will not move work items for review and an IDMS99 letter will be issued.

It is important to unset the PCA signal if any future recovery action would be appropriate for the SA automatic reminder letters, or it is no longer appropriate for specialist teams to prioritise the case.