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

HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

DMBM523440 - Debt and return pursuit: PAYE recovery and associated processes: special arrangements/schemes: care and support employers

These are customers who need a carer or personal assistant to assist them. The majority of them will receive funding for the provision of care (direct payments) which includes not only the cost of employing the care/support worker but also the cost of the PAYE deductions.

Overview

It may only become clear that it is a care and support employer scheme when contact is made with the customer. PAYE23010 provides an overview of information on care and support employers schemes.

You should note that:

  • care and support employer schemes should be in the name of the individual that has a carer or personal assistant
  • the majority of care and support employers will be receiving their funds from a local authority via direct payments (DP)
  • the funds received should cover the cost of employing the care/support worker and the cost of the PAYE deductions
  • DP recipients are made aware that the PAYE scheme will be required when they sign their DP agreement
  • some of the recipients of this funding will deal with their own submissions and payments or nominate an agent or payroll company to do it for them
  • others will have ‘Managed Accounts’ - in these cases, the customer receiving the care or support has no control over the money or the submissions; all of this will be completed by a payroll provider, advocate or agent nominated by the local council and does not require a PAYE scheme
  • the majority of these employers are subject to RTI; however, there are around 2,000 who are digitally exempt and paper file on a quarterly basis
  • the majority of these employers will be quarterly payers
  • for advice for the customer about paper filing there is a dedicated helpline which can be found in the PT Ops Guidance hub.

These are very sensitive cases and need careful handling. Guidance on handling sensitive cases is in DMBM585180.

Enforcement can be undertaken on care and support employer cases; however, this path would only normally be taken if it is clear that the customer is avoiding the debt and has funds/assets to pay and after all other paths to obtain payment have failed. Authority to proceed must be given by a line manager or above.

Needs Enhanced Support Service

The NES team are able to deal with customers who need assistance with their tax obligations across all heads of duty. If you think that a referral may be appropriate then please look at DMBM585180.

Customer contact

The verification helpcards should be used as normal.

  • If you receive a call from a non-authorised third party, take time to find out why they are contacting us on behalf of the customer. Please do not just advise that you cannot speak to them. It may be that the carer or a relative has phoned as the customer is very elderly, deaf, infirm or a minor or it may be that the customer is unable to communicate by phone. If they can give verbal authority then, as normal, you can provide information to the third party for the duration of the call. Obtain as much information as you can.
  • In the case of a minor (and care and employer schemes used to be set up in the name of them incorrectly) we can discuss the case with a person that has parental responsibility.
  • After obtaining information from the non-authorised third party, request for authority in writing to enable us to speak to the third party; if necessary a one-off email can be sent to you.
  • Ensure you add all the information obtained in the notes including their name, contact details, relationship to the customer.
  • You can provide general information; for example, how care and support employer schemes work.

Debt disputed

Quite often care and support employers dispute the debt. Take time to review the dispute and explain the liability. Sometimes the ‘dispute’ is simply because the customer does not actually make the payments themselves or it could just be a normal payment discrepancy situation.

  • Check payment allocation as normal.
  • If the amount of debt is disputed, follow the existing dispute review guidance.
  • If the customer does not understand the debt, explain that it is tax due from employing a carer or personal assistant based on P35 or FPS information sent in to HMRC. If customer continues to dispute advise customer to check their records. If still unable to resolve the issue the customer needs to provide evidence in writing to Debt Management PO Box 330.
  • If it becomes evident that the customer is unable to supply the evidence, in order to progress the case, you can send them a full breakdown of liabilities and payments so that they can discuss it with a family member or agent.

Payment

If you have followed the above and the debt is not disputed, request payment in full as normal.

Time to pay

When considering TTP standard DM guidance DMBM800000 and DMSS8020 should be followed.

  • When collating income and expenditure details, caseworkers must pay particular attention to benefits (DLA, Income Support, ILF and so on) and record each item.
  • Although the customer should be receiving sufficient money to cover employing the care/support worker and the cost of the PAYE deductions, they may not have understood this or they may have needed to pay for extra care out of it (they may get extra money to cover extra care but they may not and if they do, it may take time to come through).
  • It must be remembered that the circumstances of this particular customer base may mean that they can only clear their liability via time to pay.  The agreement may be extended longer than the normal length of an arrangement, but we must also be mindful of accruing debts. Any TTP over 12 months must be reviewed and agreed by a manager before the customer is advised that it is agreed.
  • Caseworkers should consider the amount of the TTP offer (does it cover interest and part of the original debt) against progressing the case to enforcement to ensure cost effectiveness and show they have considered this when referring any TTP request over 12 months to their manager.
  • If agreed clear notes must be made on IDMS as to why an extended time to pay has been arranged by the caseworker. If over 12 months, the manager should note IDMS that they have agreed this.
  • If TTP breaks down, try again. You cannot normally go down the enforcement route as we would in other cases.
  • Use the IA function as normal. The case and work item should remain in MU 366301. If either moves, move it back.

Enforcement

Enforcement of care and support employers needs careful consideration but should not be ruled out; this includes the use of Taking Control of Goods (TCoG) and CCP. Once you are satisfied that this is the only option for progressing the case, authority must be given by your line manager.

You must ensure that you have sent all the correct letters to warn the customer that this is the route that the case is going through and follow the guidance on DMBM650000.

Alternatives to enforcement

Composition offers may be seen as an alternative to enforcement action and should be given careful consideration to ensure that they benefit HMRC as much as the customer.

A composition offer is made by the customer to HMRC where the customer offers a lump sum that is less than the amount that is outstanding in full and final settlement of the outstanding liability. More information can be found in DMBM900200.

Elderly or infirm customers

Guidance on these customers is in DMBM585180.

Customers with health issues

Guidance on these customers is in DMBM585185.