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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Debt and return pursuit: Foreign cases: Mutual Assistance in the Recovery of Debt (MARD) (Social Security Debts): about requests for recovery

A request for recovery can be made if the debtor owes a National Insurance debt or a family benefit overpayment (that is a Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit or Guardians Allowance overpayment) and either:

  • lives in, or is established in, another country covered by this agreement
  • has assets in another country covered by this agreement.

A request for assistance in recovery should contain at least the mandatory data on an R017 and must be accompanied by an instrument permitting enforcement covering the debt. A reply should contain at least the mandatory information on an R018.

A requested country will recover a debt referred to them under these arrangements using the same recovery procedures they would use to recover an equivalent debt within their own country.

The Instrument Permitting Enforcement (IPE)

All requests for recovery from another country will include an instrument permitting enforcement, which allows us to recover the debt on their behalf. This may, for instance, either be:

  • an administrative document or decision issued in the applicant country
  • a decision by a court and so on in the applicant country (such as a judgment order).

All requests for recovery from the UK will include a certificate of debt as its instrument permitting enforcement.

Grounds for refusing a request for recovery

A requested country can refuse a request for recovery if the:

  • request is out of time (see DMBM560540 for more information about time limits)
  • recovery of the claim would, because of the situation of the debtor, create serious economic or social difficulties for the requested country; the only exception to this is where, had it been a claim of that country, legislation requires recovery (article 82 of Regulation (EC) No 987/2009)
  • debt is disputed or is the subject of appeal, however, the applicant country may ask that recovery of a disputed debt continues, provided this is allowed under the laws, regulations and administrative practices of both the applicant and requested country; in such cases, if the dispute is later found in favour of the debtor, the applicant country will be liable to reimburse any sums recovered together with any compensation due - the requested country may also take precautionary measures
  • applicant country has not taken appropriate recovery procedures in its own country
  • period of limitation has expired
  • total amount of debt to be recovered is less than €350 (including interest and costs).

Exchange rate

The rate of exchange that applies to a recovery request is the rate shown on the European Central Bank website at the time and date the request is sent.

Recovering the debt in the UK

Where a foreign social security debt is referred to us under the EU arrangement it is recovered in the same way as its equivalent UK National Insurance or family benefit debt.

UK interest

Where the debt is in respect of another country’s equivalent of our National Insurance contribution, UK interest is added to the debt on the same basis as its equivalent UK NICs debt from the date of receipt of the request until the date of payment. However, although charged at the UK rate, any amounts recovered in respect of this UK interest debt must be forwarded to the other country.

Where the debt is in respect of another country’s family benefit debt, no UK interest must be added to the foreign debt.

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

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

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

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

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

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