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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary proceedings: Introduction to costs and charges

The term costs is used to describe the

  • fees paid to the court for taking proceedings
  • other expenses (costs) awarded by the court when proceedings are taken (DMBM660840).

When you complete SP forms, do not distinguish between costs charged by the court and costs awarded by the court.

The cost for each stage of enforcement in the magistrates’ court is as follows

Fee number Type of action Cost (£)
15.1 On commencing proceedings 200.00
15.3 For a hearing at which the proceedings are contested 500.00
16.2 On a request to issue a warrant 75.00


Only one cost is payable when more than one document is issued for a partnership.

Payment of costs

You should pay costs to the court using a LOFA cheque made payable to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) instructed all Magistrates’ Courts that from 1 April 2005 court fees must be paid in advance of all applications. But it is apparent that some courts have placed their own interpretation on those instructions. A number of local practices have emerged regarding payment of fees or refunds, in particular for order hearings.

You should pay fees in accordance with the practices of your court and, as necessary, remit or write off irrecoverable fees. You may agree with your court to pay the costs at the same time as the application is made, or you may pay the next day or a week in arrears at the next hearing. By agreeing with your court to pay in arrears, you can make sure your cheque is for the actual costs incurred. If you take a cheque with you when you make the application, you will need to adjust your next cheque for any cases that were adjourned or withdrawn at the hearing.

Completion of forms C17(SAFE)

When you pay costs

  • complete form C17(SAFE) in duplicate
  • record charges on SAFE from the bottom copy of form C17(SAFE)
  • pass both copies of form C17(SAFE) with the papers to the debt manager (the complainant).

The debt manager will check the top copy of form C17(SAFE) and initial the bottom copy to certify the amount incurred.