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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: foreign cases: Mutual Assistance in the Recovery of Debt (MARD) (non-EU countries): outbound cases - requests for assistance - MARD Team /NNRU initial action


Where you are pursuing a UK tax or duty debt for a debtor that lives or has assets in another country you can send a request to that country asking them to assist in:

  • providing information, such as checking an address, confirming the identity of a resident or whether or not they have any means of payment for the debt
  • notifying / serving legal documents on our behalf
  • recovering a UK tax debt on our behalf.

Initial action:

Before issuing a request review the case for suitability ensure that:

  • the debt is still outstanding
  • the amount is correct and properly enforceable
  • there is no outstanding relevant post to action or unallocated payments/credits for the debtor
  • there are no other HMRC debts
  • there are no known assets remaining in the UK which could facilitate domestic recovery / all UK recovery procedures have been exhausted
  • the debt fulfils all the criteria for referring to the other country for recovery action (e.g. age of debt, value etc)
  • does the request state clearly the type of assistance required (i.e. information,

If a request for notification

  • are the legal documents to be served included?

If a request for recovery

  • is there a breakdown of the debt included?
  • is the total debt at or above the threshold for that country? (see DMBM560230)
  • is the debt within the time limits? (see DMBM560230)
  • has any dispute / appeal been settled?
  • is the debt outside the appeal period?
  • are all debts due?
  • for indirect taxes, has a demand for payment been issued to the debtor at the address in the foreign country?

Initial action: direct taxes


  • that the debtor has a foreign address
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • debt is over the relevant threshold.

Case suitable for referral

If you are satisfied the case meets all the relevant criteria

  • check the Non EU MARD case tracking database for any previous case(s) for the same debtor.

Existing case

If there is no existing case set up a new case.

No existing case

If there is an existing case, either for the same or different country

  • treat as a new case but
  • record the Non EU MARD reference number of the associated file in the comments field.

Indirect tax debt

If an indirect tax debt, acknowledge receipt of the case to the requesting Debt Management Team.

Request for recovery

If a request for recovery case

  • calculate the debt in the currency of the foreign country based on current exchange rate using the monthly rate of exchange found on the HMRC Internet page (see the relevant foreign country file).

Case unsuitable (indirect taxes only)

If the case does not meet the relevant criteria

  • reject it and
  • notify the requesting Debt Management Team of the reasons.

Case unsuitable (direct taxes only)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)