Pre-enforcement: limits in enforcement proceedings: summary proceedings (England & Wales and Northern Ireland)
Each individual amount you wish to recover must not exceed £2,000 at the time you begin proceedings, even though it may originally have been more than £2,000 and has since been reduced.
Several amounts may be included in the same action, even though the total may then exceed £2,000.
But remember that SP is most effective as a means of enforcing small debts and you should normally consider alternative action if the total exceeds £2,000.
England and Wales
You must start summary proceedings within a strict time limit. This must be strictly observed.
The time limit is twelve months from the time when ‘the matter complained of’ arose and is summarised in the table below.
|Type of debt||12 month’s time reckoned from|
|Income tax, Corporation tax and Capital Gains tax; (including SA)||The due date of the instalment, payment, Payment on Account, Non-postponed amount (NPA) or amount determined on appeal, as appropriate|
|NIC class 4||The due date (normally this will be the same as the due date for the associated tax)|
|Penalties imposed under parts II, VA or X Taxes Management Act 1970 or Sch.18 FA1998; (including SA penalties)||The date the penalty was imposed|
|Employer’s PAYE, NIC Class 1/1A or IT-SC underpayment disclosed by the annual declaration and certificate||The later of 19 May following the end of the deduction year, and the date of delivery of the return|
|PAYE/NIC underpayment disclosed by a return under Regulation 77 Income Tax (PAYE) 2003||The date of delivery of the return|
|IT-SC underpayment disclosed by a return under Regulation 12 ITSCR1993||The date of delivery of the return|
|IT-SC amount determined under Regulation 13 ITSCR1993||The later of the due date of the specified amount, and the date of delivery of the return|
|PAYE/NIC underpayment quantified under Regulation 97 Income Tax (PAYE) 2003||The date of the certificate of debt prepared as a result of a quantification|
|IT-SC underpayment quantified under Regulation 69 Income Tax (PAYE) 2003||The date of the certificate of debt prepared as a result of a quantification|
|Interest on employers’ PAYE, IT-SC or Class 1 NIC||The later of 19 April following the end of the deduction year, and the date of delivery of the annual return|
|Class 1A NIC||The 19 July following the end of the tax year|
|Class 1B NIC||The 19 October following the end of the tax year to which the PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) relates|
|PAYE settlement agreements||The later of 19 October following the year concerned, and the date of the agreement|
|R80H ITER1993 determinations||The later of the date of determination, and the due date following settlement of the appeal|
|Interest on PAYE settlement agreements||The later of the due date of the agreement or determination, and 19 October following the year concerned|
|Class 2 National Insurance Contributions||The end of the tax year in which the taxpayer is liable to pay the contributions|
|Class 2 NIC Late Notification Penalties||The due date (30 days after the issue of the S8 notice of decision (letter CA8149))|
|Revenue Determination under SA or COTAX||The date the determination was made|
|Interest||The date the underlying tax or NIC became due, where proceedings are being taken for the underlying debt|
|The date the interest was raised for stand alone interest charges|
|Working Tax Credit (WTC) / Child Tax Credit (CTC) overpayments||The date of issue of the Finalisation Notice TC602 (view NTC function ‘View Award’)|
In Northern Ireland the time limit for commencing summary proceedings is 6 years from the time the ‘matter complained of’ arose (Article 63 of the Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.
Use the table for England and Wales above to determine when the cause of action arose.
Definition of the start of summary proceedings
The start of summary proceedings is defined in:
- England and Wales, as the day on which you lodge complaint before a magistrate and apply for a summons to be issued
- Northern Ireland, as the day you arrange for an ordinary process to be issued.
Orders obtained in the Magistrates Court in cases commenced after the time limit has expired are void and cannot be enforced.