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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: country court proceedings: the defendant’s response to the claim: counterclaims in CCBC actions

Part 66.4 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 prevents a counterclaim in proceedings by the Crown for the recovery of taxes, or duties recoverable as if they were taxes. Defendants cannot use the argument they are due a repayment of tax to avoid judgment being entered against them, even if the allegation is correct. The form N9(B) tells defendants that they “may not be able to make a counterclaim where the claimant is the Crown (e.g. a Government Department)”. The Bulk Centre will therefore treat any defence that takes the form of a counterclaim as invalid.

However, should the Bulk Centre process a defence that upon close inspection is clearly a counterclaim, you should:

  • complete N244 asking for the defence/counterclaim to be struck out in accordance with Part 66.4 of the Civil Procedure Rules
  • send the form under the cover of the CCCU-1 stencil to the Bulk Centre via the CCCU (do not at this stage ask for judgment)
  • record this action using RECORD ACTIONS as ‘Correspondence out - to CCCU - other’ with a free text entry of ‘N244 - Counterclaim - App. to strike out defence
  • set the next action as ‘Apply for judgment’ and B/F 7 days or to 21 days after date of issue of claim whichever is later.

If the debt is still unpaid at the expiry of B/F apply for judgment in default by taking the following actions:

  • 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.