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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: introduction to PAYE: HMRC roles and responsibilities

The following work areas are involved in the delivery and oversight of the PAYE system. Most of these offices will cover other heads of duty (for example, Self Assessment) but only their involvement with PAYE is shown.

BEST

The Business Education & Support Team is part of the Business Customer and Strategy (BC&S) Small and Medium Enterprises Team (SME). The team educates businesses through a variety of means across the UK. Education is offered at key points throughout the life of the business, such as when a business takes on an employee for the first time.

The education can be delivered by phone, workshops, exhibitions, through intermediaries such as councils and via webinars.

Business Customer & Strategy (BC&S)

The BC&S is part of Business Tax and is responsible for ensuring businesses pay the right amount of tax whilst improving our customer’s experience and the overall UK business environment.

The role of BC&S is to help colleagues make customer focus a reality by understanding our customer needs better and using that understanding to design better products, processes and service delivery.

Central Exception Processing Team (CEPT)

CEPT are part of NICO and deal with queries arising from submitted employer annual returns that fail to be processed within the return processing system (ChRIS). They also receive notification of any in-year returns submitted online and pass this information to DMB for follow up.

Customer Operations

Customer Operations deal with employer records - opening schemes in limited circumstances, for example for Official Receivers, reviewing the status of schemes, closing down schemes no longer required, dealing with overpayments, penalties (including appeals) and WWTD cases. They also process employer annual returns submitted on paper.

Banking

Banking is responsible for banking and re-allocating PAYE payments and making repayments. They also deal with claims for payments of statutory payments, tax advances and tax-free payments. They also maintain employer records and keep BROCS and ETMP accounting records up-to-date.

DM Bradford Enforcement Unit (BEU)

The BEU takes county court action against customers who have not paid their tax debts. They work with Field Force if any local actions are necessary; for example, appearing at a local court.

When attempts to recover the debt by enforcement or by agreement fail, they will recommend bankruptcy or winding-up and pass to the Enforcement & Insolvency Service (EIS).

DM Business Payment Support Service (BPSS)

BPSS is a helpline for employers (as well as other customers) having difficulty paying their tax. BPSS will if possible agree time to pay arrangements with employers but if the size of debt is substantial, will refer other cases to DMB.

DM Contract Settlement Unit (CSU)

CSU deal with all cases where the customer has defaulted on a Contract Settlement agreement. This includes PAYE Settlement Agreements.

If enforcement action is required, CSU will refer the debt to either Bradford Enforcement Unit (BEU) or to Enforcement & Insolvency Service (EIS).

DM Debt Collection Intervention Team (DCIT)

DCIT was created following a drive to reduce stocks of existing debts and be more proactive in tackling new liabilities.

The aim of the team is to secure a clearance by payment or other means, and refer uncleared cases for enforcement.

DM Debt Management Telephone Centre (DMTC)

DMTC make initial telephone contact with employers to collect outstanding payment or returns following the automatic issue of demand notes and reminders. The DMTC have a set period (window) in which to telephone employers. DMTC campaigns (what work DMTC will be dealing with) are shown on DMB intranet site.

DM Debt Technical Offices (DTO)

DTOs pursue outstanding PAYE debts and returns, referring unpaid debt for enforcement where necessary. They ensure, secure and improve cashflow to the Exchequer by reducing recoverable debt, maximising collected debt and supporting employers back to compliance.

DM Enforcement and Insolvency Service (EIS)

EIS are responsible for settling the debts of individuals and companies in circumstances where a Debt Technical Office has been unable to do so. This includes dealing with Voluntary Arrangements, Administration Orders and taking insolvency action in cases where it has not been possible to obtain payment.

For PAYE, they are represented in different parts of the United Kingdom by:

  • Enforcement and Insolvency Services (Worthing) for England and Wales
  • Enforcement and Insolvency Services (Edinburgh) for Scotland
  • Enforcement and Insolvency Services (Edinburgh, Belfast Team) for Northern Ireland.

DM Estates and Trusts (DMB E&T) {.filledcircle}

DM E&T work on UK resident trusts and settlements, especially the larger and more complex estates in administration and compliance work involving the anti-avoidance Settlements legislation.

They also maintain policy on trusts and settlements, estates and the Settlements legislation, and give technical support and advice on the Income Tax of UK resident trusts and settlements, on estates in administration, the Settlements legislation and on ownership in general and joint ownership by married couples and civil partners.

If enforcement action is appropriate then the case is transferred to the appropriate office with instructions on how to enforce the debt.

DM Insolvency and Claims Handling Unit (ICHU)

ICHU handle insolvency cases involving debt and resolving returns with liquidators / businesses and dealing with all aspects arising from the liquidation.

DM Large Business Unit (LBU)

LBU provide customer service for employers who have more complex tax affairs, and is part of the National Debt Pursuit Unit (NDPU) based in Liverpool. The LBU are responsible for all businesses dealt with by the Large Business Service (LBS), along with those with more than 250 employees.

LBU deal with employers up to the point that enforcement action is necessary, referring debts to DTOs as necessary.

DM PAYE Errors Unit (PEU)

The PEU are part of the National Debt Pursuit Unit and deal with requests for a Direction to be issued under PAYE 2003 Regulation 72(5) Condition A - where there has been an under-deduction of PAYE and the employer wants HMRC to pursue the employee for the debt. Directions will be given if the employer took reasonable care to comply with the PAYE regulations and the under-deduction was due to an error made in good faith.

DM Tracing Unit (TU)

The tracing unit handle all RLS cases where mail has been returned undelivered. They will take ownership of a RLS case and will either trace a new address or as a last resort write off any debt due.

Employer Compliance

Employer compliance ensures that PAYE systems are administered correctly and that employers understand and comply with their obligations and receive their entitlements. They investigate certain employers, the outcome of which may be a PAYE settlement agreement or correction of an earlier year’s return and collection of a PAYE debt.

Employer helplines (for external customers only)

There are three dedicated helplines for employers.

  1. Employer’s orderline (0300 123 1074) - for PAYE annual packs and other employer’s stationery - except for the P35 annual return form which is obtained from the employer’s Customer Operations office.
  2. New Employer’s helpline (0300 200 3211) - for opening new PAYE schemes ans providing advice to new employers with less than three years experience on PAYE, NIC, statutory sick pay, maternity pay, tax credits, stakeholder pensions and student loan deductions.
  3. Established Employer’s helpline (0300 200 3200)- providing advice to employers with more than three year’s experience on PAYE, NIC, statutory sick pay, maternity pay, tax credits, stakeholder pensions and student loan deductions.

Contractor helplines (for external customers only)

There is one helpline for contractors - HMRC CIS Helpline whose phone number is 0300 200 3210.

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Field Force

Field Force deal with all outdoor work to collect outstanding debts in England, Wales & Northern Ireland through distraint visits, service of legal documents, PAYE quantifications, collecting debts and returns and attendance at court.

Field Force Units are based at Peterborough (Levy Team), Taunton and Redruth.

International Debt Unit (IDU)

This office handles recovery for all employers whose address is abroad.

Large Business Service (LBS)

The LBS is part of the National Debt Pursuit Unit. They deal with the largest UK companies, employers and partnerships. LBS is made up of tax, accountant, audit and other specialists who work collaboratively with colleagues across HMRC in tackling risk and providing customer service. LBS provide each company within a sector with a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) who is the company’s first point of contact with HMRC.

Late Stage Debt Resolution Team (LAST)

The role of the LAST Team is specifically to pursue debts that have gone through a Campaigns Process and remain uncleared after Field Force Action and were destined for County Court, High Court or Summary Warrant Action.

They will link all debts and aim to clear the case by obtaining payment in full, setting up a time to pay agreement, cleansing spurious debt, preparing cases for remission or return cases to Field Force for levy where the existence of assets has been confirmed.

If there is no successful outcome then the case will be pursued through County Court or EIS.

National Insurance Contributions Office (NICO)

NICO is part of HMRC’s National Processing. Their main duty is the recording and maintenance of National Insurance Contributions on which contributory state benefit payments are based on.

DMB collect NIC Class 1, 1A and 1B through PAYE but may be asked to collect a NIC debt on NICO’s behalf.

PAYE Directions Unit (PDU)

The PDU is part of Specialist Investigations, Civil Fraud & Avoidance. They deal with requests for a Direction to be issued under PAYE 2003 Regulation 72(4) Condition B - where there has been an under-deduction of PAYE and HMRC are of the opinion that the employee has received relevant payments knowing that the employer wilfully failed to deduct the amount of tax, which should have been deducted from those payments.

PAYE Processing (PSN Processing)

Personal Tax Customer Product & Process are responsible for developing and delivering policy changes and for providing technical advice and guidance on the operation of PAYE. They help employers with their operation of PAYE, and provide support to Customer Operations PAYE staff.

They will help where there are queries over whether a person is an employee, or where there is doubt over the validity of the PAYE scheme.

PAYE Technical (PSN)

PAYE Technical are responsible for developing and delivering policy changes and for providing technical advice and guidance on PAYE schemes.