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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: distraint: preparing for distraint: indirect tax actions

Indirect tax (DMU) caseworkers should

  • telephone the debtor
  • issue the DNIP
  • set the B/F for 10 days after the date of issue of DNIP

On the day the B/F expires the pre-enforcement team should

  • enter the individual units on DTR (Departmental Trader Register)
  • check EF (Electronic Folder)/VISION and DTR as appropriate to ensure each debt is mature and suitable for enforcement by distraint
  • change the Debt Control RFI to Field Force
  • complete the enforcement referral form. The reference number you will create is based on the trader’s VRN (VAT Registration Number). If it is an excise or environmental debt enter the indirect tax reference number, and enter ‘non VAT’ after it (so the DMO does not assume the debtor is VAT registered when accounting for costs)
  • enter the debt and related period ending on the referral form (more than one period of tax, penalties or surcharge may be shown as a total on one referral form but include the periods ending)
  • enter the post code
  • capture the referral form to the Electronic Folder
  • obtain the name of the DMO e-mail recipient from the same look up table as the post code contact list provided
  • send an e-mail to the relevant DMO recipient attaching

    • the referral form and
    • a relevant extract from the DTR notes
  • use the Outlook option ‘to request a read receipt’ for this message’
  • note on DTR the name of the caseworker the referral has gone to
  • B/F 7 days for an e-mail acknowledgment (chasing up if necessary)
  • do not use the Itinerary function.

When the acknowledgement is received

  • B/F 7 weeks for final clearance and report
  • do not issue reminders to the DMO before the B/F period has elapsed.

When a new or revised debt arises for a case where you have already issued a referral form, the DMU should

  • notify the DMO immediately the debt becomes due in accordance with the following table (do not wait until the Recovery Proceedings (RP) check is made).

The table below illustrates the circumstances where you will need to communicate with the DMO

Circumstances Action
You receive  
  • a payment
  • a return, or
  • anything that might affect the debt or the debtor Advise the DMO immediately by telephone using the number provided on the acknowledgement  
      The DMO requests an RP check Deal promptly with the request and check if there have been any referrals to the Security Team of which the DMO should be aware.
      The 6 week B/F expires and you have heard nothing Telephone the DMO for a progress report.
      A new or revised debt arises at the DMU  
  Issue a DNIP for the new/amended debt then, in accordance with whole case ownership, refer the debt immediately, when due, to the DMO that has the previous debt  
  * for the same period(s) already referred to the DMO * by e-mail message
  * for a different period * using a new referral form for the new debt, quoting the existing IDMS number, as an e-mail attachment.