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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Debt and return pursuit: foreign cases: Mutual Assistance in the Recovery of Debt (MARD) (Social Security Debts): recovery requests received from other member states: BEU

MARD team referrals


  • another member state has asked the UK to recover a family benefit or national insurance contributions debt owed to them by a debtor living in England or Wales,
  • the MARD team have been unable to obtain payment from the debtor, and
  • CCP action has been determined as the next appropriate recovery action, or
  • bankruptcy / insolvency action has been determined as the next appropriate action (note: the only debt HMRC are attempting to recover is that of another member state, we will seek to obtain a CCJ before we petition for bankruptcy or insolvency)

the MARD team will send the debtor a MARD CCP warning letter and enforcement factsheet.

If the debtor fails to pay or respond to the warning letter, they will refer the case to you for action. They will send you a referral form explaining the action you need to take, together with supporting papers detailing the debt due.

Take CCP action, using the same procedures as you would for a UK Child Benefit or National Insurance Contributions debt as appropriate, but use the relevant social security regulation particulars of the claim.

The debt will be on SAFE and on IDMS, but the MARD team will retain ownership of both records.

Debtor pays

Payments will normally be made direct to the Accounts Office Shipley who will then allocate the payment to the charge on SAFE.

If payment is made in full close your case.


If the debtor disputes their liability to or the accuracy of the debt, deal with their dispute as per the guidance in DMBM560730.

HMRC enforcement fees

UK fees should be recorded in accordance with normal practice.

Such fees are retained by the UK. However, where payment is received from the debtor for the debt alone, this should be paid to the applicant member state in full and we should seek wherever possible to pursue and recover the fees separately.

Action after judgment obtained

Enforce the judgment in the same way you would if it were an equivalent UK debt.

However, where bankruptcy or insolvency action is the next step, send the debtor a MARD insolvency warning letter and enforcement fact sheet. If the debtor fails to pay or respond to the warning letter, refer the case to EIS for action.