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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: VAT: deregistered customers and revenue losses: initial action

Each type of de-registration is recorded on the VISION ledger (LR) screen and identified by a specific code.

Type Code  
Ceased to trade 01  
Transfer of a Going Concern (TOGC) 02  
Exemption from registration 03  
Continuing to trade below the threshold 04  
Invalid entry/duplicate registration 05  
Missing Trader 06  
Company joining a VAT group 07  
Assets transferring as TOGC to/from a VAT group 08  
Customer joining Flat Rate Scheme 09  

Before taking any action to recover a debt, access VISION to make sure the debt has been properly finalised.

If there are any:

  • ‘open’ periods (that is periods for which a return has not been submitted and an assessment has not been issued) or
  • unresolved ‘error’ returns

consult the VRS Deregistration team.

Current debt management action must also be taken into account. For example, if distraint has already been levied on the customer, urgent action will be needed to preserve the assets. If a debt is only identified after de-registration, it is important to contact the customer quickly to improve the possibility of collecting full payment.