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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: country court proceedings: appearing in court: preparing for disposal hearings

The success of the hearing will depend largely on how well you have prepared. At the hearing you will be able to

  • produce evidence of the defendant’s means
  • question the defendant.

It is critical that your evidence of means is up to date. You should make sure that it relates to the period of two months immediately before the date of hearing.

Evidence of means

If you have not already done so, when you receive notification of the hearing date and the defendant is an employee

  • send a form 36A (obtainable from SEES) to his or her employer
  • make sure that

    • the enquiry covers the period of two months before the date of the hearing
    • the reply is signed by the employer or a responsible person.

The district judge will accept the statement on form 36A as prima facie evidence under the provisions of TMA70/S70 (4).

Where the defendant is self-employed and satisfactory evidence of means cannot be obtained from other sources you should ask Customer Ops to forward on short loan

  • the defendant’s latest tax return
  • any other document(s) completed by, or on behalf of, the defendant that may provide evidence of means such as CIS vouchers

You will be able to refer to these documents during questioning in court, but do not use copies or photocopies.