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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: PAYE recovery and associated processes: special arrangements/schemes: embassies and international public bodies

There is no legal requirement for embassies or international public bodies to operate PAYE on payments made to their staff, although a number of embassies do operate a PAYE scheme voluntarily. Those that do, report PAYE in RTI. Where an embassy does not operate PAYE, their employees may have to operate PAYE on their own earnings and report it to HMRC using Basic PAYE Tools (BPT) as though they were an employer themselves. Some of these individuals may not understand their responsibilities. There is potential for our debt recovery processes to cause offence to the embassy personnel.

No enforcement action can or will be taken on an embassy or international public body itself in accordance with the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 and, as the debts are not legally enforceable, it is imperative that any mail items are dealt with by the specialist team in Ipswich DRT.

Handling embassy or international public body cases

If employees of foreign embassies or international public bodies based in the UK require support they can contact the Employer Helpline, Online Services Helpdesk and Payment Enquiry Line as normal.

If you receive a phone call regarding debt, you should contact Liz Lamb on 03000 536 646, Liz Harris on 03000 536 631 or David McCaul on 03000 536 545. Do not give out these numbers to the caller; instead, advise them they will be phoned back.

If you receive a piece of debt-related post on DMS, reassign it to Liz Lamb (PID 4722191), Liz Harris (PID 7119333) or David McCaul (PID 7134277). Add a note to DMS to explain why it is being reassigned and a note to IDMS with a brief summary of its contents and the date it was received. If the post is received in an office that is not on DMS then clearly mark the document ‘Do Not Scan’ and redirect via polylope to:

International Public Body and Embassy caseworker
Debt Management
Ipswich DRT
St Clare House
Ipswich
IP1 1LW

General diplomatic and embassy enquiries

For general Diplomatic or Embassy post, or where the legitimacy of a liability is disputed on DMS, export the task from DMS as a PDF file, attach it to an email and send it to embassy.team@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. Add a note to DMS that it is being forwarded to the Diplomatic Liaison Service/Embassy Unit and close the mail item. Add a note to IDMS with a brief summary of its contents, the date it was received and where it has been sent. If the post is received in an office that is not on DMS then redirect via polyope to:

Diplomatic Liaison Service/Embassy Unit
HMRC/Embassy Unit
WMBC/SEC
Longbrook House
Exeter
EX4 4UD.

If you receive a phone call with a general Diplomatic or Embassy query, or where the legitimacy of a liability is disputed, the customer can contact the Diplomatic Liaison Service/Embassy Unit on 03000 516 604 or email embassy.team@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

If the customer wishes to write to the Diplomatic Liaison Service/Embassy Unit, do not give them the Exeter address but advise them to write to:

HMRC Diplomatic Liaison Service/Embassy Unit
Local Compliance
Specialist Employer Compliance
SO938
Newcastle
NE98 1ZZ.