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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: in-year process: quantification: pre-quantification action required

Formal Information Notices

Whenever quantification is needed, you must issue to the employer

  • a Formal Information Notice (Form PAYE3 - Notice warning of quantification-amounts unpaid)or
  • PAYE3A - Notice warning of quantification visit.

Serving the Notice

You can serve a written notice on a person by sending it to them by post or leaving it at their usual or last known place of residence or their place of business.

If the notice is addressed to a company you should serve by hand it on a ‘proper officer’ for example, any officer of the board or the company secretary. However, if it is sent by post it would normally be addressed to the company itself rather than a ‘proper officer’.

Right of Appeal

We are only asking for documents which form part of the employer’s statutory records, therefore there is no right of appeal against the notice. Schedule 36 Part 5 29(2) refers.

Time and place

Both letters offer two options (A and B) for your use in determining that an employer produces the information we require to quantify the debt at either

  • a place agreed by the employer and ourselves
  • a place we may reasonably specify including an agent’s address.

If possible, you should

  • contact the employer by telephone to agree a time and place in advance of serving the Information Notice. This agreed time and place should be entered on the Notice by using option A.

If you cannot contact the employer in advance and you need to specify a time, you should consider their circumstances. Often it will be reasonable to specify a time during normal office hours.

This specified time and place should be entered on the Notice by using option B. If the taxpayer contacts you to say that the place and date are not convenient, you should agree an alternative.

Time limits

The time specified for return of the information requested must be reasonable. A reasonable time will depend on the nature of the business and will usually be when the premises are open for business or when staff are present. However, other times are possible.

If the employer contacts you and asks for more time you should

  • consider carefully whether the request is reasonable
  • grant as extension if appropriate.

A notice may be found to be invalid if you do not do so.