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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: CCP: general: sending cases for county court proceedings

When you send the cases to EIS Bradford with a request for CCP to be commenced, make sure you have all the papers you need and that the checks outlined in the list below have been carried out. This list complements the instructions at DMBM605000.

  • PAYE ongoing liability insufficient effects for distraint P101 C issued on [date]
  • Liability is accruing (credit checks clean)
  • Liability has ceased (individuals) - taxpayer unemployed with assets/or in PAYE employment
  • Liability has ceased (company) with assets; this can include outstanding director’s loans
  • All heads of duty are linked
  • Taking control of goods not applicable - evidence to support on IDMS
  • Remission not appropriate
  • Transfer direct to EIS Worthing for bankruptcy or winding-up action immediately is not appropriate
  • Attempts have been made at different times to contact by phone
  • Residence has been confirmed within last six months
  • Financial circumstances obtained within last six months (or reason recorded if unable to obtain)
  • Breakdown of any ITSA assessment[s] obtained (see below)
  • 36A/COP information obtained (debtor in PAYE employment)
  • Final warning of the commencement of CCP (written or verbal) within last three months to private address/each partner/registered office

In ITSA Assessment cases

In accordance with The Civil Court Practice Rule 16.4, the writ issued will need to detail how the total payable by the assessment was derived. Therefore EIS must be given a breakdown of the assessment by the office transferring the debt, before the claim can be issued by them.

A completed Form MS134 - this will show the name and phone number of the Investigating Inspector and any information held which might help in obtaining the money due. Compliance staff will use the function MAINTAIN SA NOTES to record separately the amounts of Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Class 4 NIC included in the assessment; for example, ‘2002-03 Rev. Asst. - IT £xxx, CGT £xxx, NIC £xxx’. Before transferring the case to EIS Bradford, this breakdown detail should be added to the Notes and Assets tab of the Taxpayer Designatory Data screen on IDMS for future use.

If, exceptionally, this breakdown is not shown on ITSA, you must contact the office that issued the assessment[s] and obtain the split between Tax / NIC /CGT before you transfer the case to EIS. If the office that issued the assessment is not able to provide a breakdown for it, then CCP is not possible for that element of the debt and you will need to choose a different enforcement strategy rather than CCP.

All cases

Generally, if you do not have enough information, papers are missing, inappropriate signals are set, or you consider further action is necessary before proceedings are commenced, take the appropriate action yourself to remedy the defect. Do not pass the case on to EIS until these issues are resolved.

If letters have been sent to the debtors warning of taking control of goods action or bankruptcy/winding up, and it is subsequently decided to enter the case into the county court, you should arrange for a new CCP warning letter (and leaflet EF3) to be issued and allow for the ‘time limits’ described below to expire before issuing a claim.

To comply with the Practice Direction on pre action conduct, if the debtor acknowledges receipt within 14 days promising a full reply, you should allow 30 days (plus a few days for the post) from the date of issue of the IDMS10C for the debtor to respond fully before considering starting proceedings. Exceptionally, if waiting this additional period of time before issuing a claim would mean the debt would become time barred or there are other important reasons not to delay proceedings, then court action should be started without allowing any additional time, over and above the normal 14 days.

Judgment enforcement strategy

Where possible, before passing the case to EIS to start CCP, you should provide a likely strategy as to how to enforce the judgment once obtained, in the event of continued default and make notes on IDMS giving your reasoning.

Each contact with the debtor before enforcement activity provided an opportunity to gather intelligence to inform future strategy. However where you have not been able to formulate an enforcement strategy prior to starting the action you should follow any default of judgment by arranging an Order to Obtain Information hearing and examine the judgment debtor under oath as to their current means, assets and debts.

This action and the information obtained will inform the way forward in enforcing the debt or deciding some other outcome such as remission, in appropriate cases, or onward submission to EIS Worthing for bankruptcy/winding up for example.

If payment is not made then you will have the opportunity to gather more information to inform a strategy. Even when you start an action with a definite strategy in mind it very often changes as the case progresses and you obtain more information on which to base your decisions.