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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Pre-enforcement: limits in enforcement proceedings: distraint (England & Wales and Northern Ireland)

Monetary limits

There is no upper limit to the amount for which you may distrain. But there must be enough distrainable effects to realise all the costs (including those of appraisal, removal and sale) and a proportion of the main debt. This is the lesser of

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Time limits

There is no time limit for distraining. But for NICs and other debts that are not tax, we treat the Limitation Act 1980 as applying and choose not to distrain for these debts after 6 years from the debt becoming payable.