Pre-enforcement: consider the defaulter: deceased customers: no probate / confirmation
If the deceased was a sole trader and there is evidence of succession, that is trade is continuing/there are employees, contact the business address to find out:
- who is continuing to trade
- if the employees are now employed by the new business
- when was the business sold/transferred
- their current PAYE/ VAT reference number.
If it is a succession, only the debt to the date of the sale/transfer will be due from the deceased’s estate. Advise Customer Ops/ DTO if a new PAYE/VAT record is required.
For all sole liabilities, including those of a deceased sole trader where there is no evidence of the business continuing
£5,000 or less outstanding and/or insufficient assets
- there is potentially less than £5,000 outstanding
- you have clear evidence, preferably in writing, that probate/confirmation will not be sought because there are no estate assets
- there is no jointly held property
and you are satisfied that further action will not be worthwhile:
- do not pursue the estate for outstanding returns or for payment
- complete a pro forma return as nil or equal to the amount of the total payments on record
- make the record dormant/cease the employer record
- put your reason for closure on SA notes
- remit the debt Type 2 as in DMBM735030.
More than £5,000 and potential assets
If you suspect there may be assets, for instance where either:
- income before death was high
- you have confirmed that there were assets
- a property was owned or jointly owned
- check the deceased’s tax records and any other available source of information such as Customer Ops (for instance, if a statement of assets was provided with an investigation agreement), Tax Credit Office, DTO/ EEC team at Liverpool, Experian, or the former agent
- contact the person who provided the initial information.
If you find out that:
- the estate is in funds
- there was a solely or jointly owned property
consider further action, including obtaining an insolvency administration order against the estate; see DMBM585285.