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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: summary proceedings (England & Wales and Northern Ireland)

Monetary limits

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.

Time limits

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’)

 

Northern Ireland

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.