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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Enforcement action: country court proceedings: the defendant’s response to the claim: part payment received with no comment about the balance

 

Where you have started proceedings, the defendant may make a payment on account of the amount claimed. Sometimes the debt will be paid but not the court fees or costs or, where the claim is for a specified amount of PAYE/NIC, the employer may simply pay the actual amount of deductions.

Fees and costs unpaid

The chronological test

For cases where tax or duty is paid but the court fees and costs are not, you should apply a chronological test using the date the claim was issued when deciding whether to pursue the balance.

If you issued the claim on or before the date HMRC received payment, proceed to judgment as below.

If HMRC received payment before you issued the claim, you cannot continue the action for the court fees and costs (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) DMBM755010(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) DMBM745000(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

Date of issue of the claim

Cases entered clerically

The date of issue is the date the claim is received and stamped by the court. The claim form (and particulars of claim) will then be served on the defendant, usually by post.

Claims issued through the CPC 

For CCBC cases the relevant date is the date the online claim form is received by the Court’s computer system. This is recorded on IDMS on the CPC Claims tab in PROCEEDINGS DETAILS and will usually be the day after the online request is made.

Arguable defence

But before pursuing the (balance of the) claim to judgment you should always consider whether the debtor has an arguable defence. The debtor may have an arguable defence if the claim were to be pursued for the unpaid court fees and costs alone and, if so, you should always consider whether such a defence might be successful.

The number of cases where there will be an arguable defence will be limited. An example of an arguable defence might be where a debtor has stated that he would pay the debt in two weeks but the claim is issued before the two week period has elapsed. If the debtor pays within the two week period he proposed, the court could accept that he has an arguable defence and may feel you should have waited the two weeks before issuing the claim.

PAYE cases - specified amount paid but not the court fees and costs

If the specified amount on form P101 is paid but not the court fees and costs, continue with the action for the court fees and costs.

Other cases

Less than £30 fees unpaid (payment received after claim issued)

If less than £30 court fees and costs are unpaid, write to the debtor for payment of the unpaid court fees and costs.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) DMBM755010(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

£30 or more court fees and costs unpaid (payment received after claim issued)

If £30 or more court fees and costs are unpaid:

  • write to the debtor for payment of the unpaid court fees and costs and any additional interest accrued to the date of payment of the principal debt (use letter CCP9)
  • B/F to the later of:

    • 10 days after the issue of the letter
    • 14 days after the deemed date of service (DMBM665640).

If payment is not made:

  • prepare form N205A for the amount of the unpaid court fees and costs and any additional interest accrued to the date of payment
  • apply for judgment in default in the normal way (DMBM665640).

Fees, costs and duty unpaid

PAYE P101 cases - actual amount paid and court fees and costs outstanding

If the employer pays the actual amount (that is the amount due for the period and not the amount on form P101) and it is less than the amount specified on form P101, continue with the action for the balance of the specified amount on form P101 and the court fees and costs.

PAYE P101 cases - amount on form P35 paid and court fees and costs outstanding

Where the employer has paid the amount shown on form P35, the most appropriate solution is to accept that amount in settlement of the tax/NIC liability.

Where court fees and costs are outstanding:

  • ask for the court fees and costs plus any interest from the date of the claim to the date of judgment
  • advise that if payment is not made you will apply for judgment based on the original claim (that is the specified amount on form P101).

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) DMBM755010(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

Other cases

£30 or more unpaid including court fees and costs (payment after date of issue of claim)

Where payment does not fully satisfy the claim (including court fees and costs) and the debtor makes no comment about the balance:

  • write to the debtor
  • tell them how the payment has been allocated (remember that no part of the payment can be allocated to court fees or costs at this stage)
  • ask for payment of the unpaid balance including interest to ‘today’ and advise of the revised daily interest accrual rate
  • say that you will apply for judgment for the unpaid balance in the absence of payment or a defence.
  • BF the action to the later of:

    • 7 days after issue of the letter
    • 21 days after the issue of the claim, for entry of judgment in default if payment is not made (DMBM665640).

Additional action for CCBC cases

If payment is made but an amount (which could be court fees and costs only) remains outstanding, the automatic judgment in default process will continue unless you interrupt it. See also DMBM668450.

Action to take

You should therefore:

  • review the EXCEPTIONS LIST daily for cases with ‘Cleared’ as the exception
  • move the work item to C/W CCP using function RECORD ACTIONS. The work item will then have a next action of ‘Review’ and ‘today’ as the BF date
  • take action as above according to the balance left unpaid.

If payment is not made:

  • highlight the master work item on TIS
  • click on the [Proceedings Details] button
  • click on the [OK] button on the PROCEEDINGS DETAILS screen
  • click on the [Forms] option from the main menu on the PROCEEDINGS HISTORY screen
  • click on the [Judgment in Default] menu item.