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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Enforcement action: distraint: after the levy: referral to the auctioneer if the distraint is not paid in 5 days

The provisions of TMA70/S61 (4) and (5) and Regulation 9 of S1 1997/1431 require that distrained goods must be kept for five days before they shall be sold at auction.

Debt technical office actions

If the distraint is not paid by the 6th calendar day following the levy the higher debt manager will

  • arrange for an RP check to be carried out (DMBM615040)
  • refer the case to the auctioneer under a covering letter Dist 020
  • authorise removal
  • arrange for the following documents to be delivered to the auctioneer (they may be scanned or faxed in advance but the originals must be delivered to the auctioneer before attending the debtor’s premises for appraisal and removal)

    • the inventory (keep an office copy) (DMBM655850)
    • the photographs (DMBM655850)
    • a calculation showing the daily rate of interest accruing on the unpaid balance.

Amendment to liability

Once you have handed over a case you must inform the auctioneer immediately if you become aware of any change of circumstances that affects the liability.

Where you have levied distraint for an SA determination see DMBM656090.

Payment offered after transfer to auctioneer

From the moment the case has been transferred to the auctioneer, debtors asking to pay the levy before the sale date must be referred to him. The auctioneer has no authority to grant a formal TTP arrangement (DMBM656110).

The sale date should not be extended to accommodate such an arrangement.