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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: county court proceedings: preparation and service of the claim: time limit for service of the claim

A claim must be served within four months of its issue. If it is not, the court may strike out your action. Although you may be able to start a fresh action later, you will have lost the original fees.

If there are extended delays in serving a claim, you need to apply to the court to extend the time limit for a further four months before the original time limit expires.

Subsequent extensions are also permissible. Exceptionally, the court may allow an extension of up to 12 months where it is satisfied that the claim cannot be served within four months.