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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Debt and return pursuit: NICs: limitation: effect on RLS cases

An action to recover any sum due must be commenced within six years of the original due date of the National Insurance liability, and this applies even where the debtor is RLS.

A Court of Appeal case (Smith v Hughes and Another) has held that a claimant can effect good service at the last known address of the defendant where

  • no new address had been given to the claimant and
  • no solicitor was acting for the defendant.

The Tracing Unit will ask the DTO to consider taking county court proceedings against the debtor at their last known address in England or Wales where

  • the unpaid NICs exceed £250
  • the 6th anniversary of the due date is less than 4 months away
  • no payment on account of a combined tax/NICs debt has been made
  • the debtor has not already been served with a CCP claim form or SP summons.

If you require further advice on this issue, contact the Enforcement Technical Team (Debt Management Bradford).