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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Debt and return pursuit: Foreign cases: Mutual Assistance in the Recovery of Debt (MARD) (Social Security Debts): requests for information received from other countries

General

A request for information is often the first step of the recovery process, and will usually involve confirming a debtor’s whereabouts, financial status or their assets here in the UK.

A request for information should contain at least the mandatory data on an R012 and a reply should contain at least the mandatory data on an R014.

Requests for information will be sent to HMRC where the claim relates to contributions or overpaid family benefits. Where the claim relates to any of the other benefits listed on the form, the request will be sent to the appropriate UK Government Department.

Restrictions on providing information

You are not required to provide the information requested where either:

  • all the mandatory information you need in order to deal with the request has not been provided
  • we would not be able to get the information needed for the purposes of recovering our own debts (article 76(3)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 987/2009)
  • the supply of the requested information would disclose any commercial, industrial or professional secret (article 76(3)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 987/2009)
  • disclosure of the information would prejudice the security of the UK or otherwise be contrary to the law or public policy of the UK (article 76(3)(c) of (EC) No Regulation 987/2009).

International Debt Unit, MARD team action

Initial action

Review the request to check for suitability as per MARD SWI 1 and the above restrictions.

Request does not contain all required information

If the request doesn’t contain all the information you need in order to action it:

  • send an R014 to the applicant country and ask for the missing information
  • BF the case for two months.

If the applicant country doesn’t respond within two months, write to them and ask them for an update using an H001. BF the case for a further month and if they still fail to provide the missing information after the month has expired reject the case.

Request accepted

If the request is accepted:

  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • review all Departmental systems for the information requested by the other country as per MARD SWI 2
  • reply to the request on an R014 and either provide the requested information or explain why the information can’t be provided
  • close case.

Request rejected

If the request is not accepted:

  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • reply to the request on an R014 and explain why the request has been rejected
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • close case.