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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary proceedings (Sc): Your right to address the court

Your right to address the court is based on the following legislation

  • Section 67(1) Taxes Management Act 1970 – this permits tax to be recovered by proceedings in the sheriff court in the name of a debt manager (that is, debt managers of officer grade or above)
  • Rule 2.1 of the Summary Cause Rules 2002 which permits you, as a party to the proceedings, to address the court
  • Section 27 of the HMRC Regulation Act 1890 which states that

“Any officer or person employed or authorised by the Commissioners or the Solicitor of HMRC in that behalf may, although he is not a solicitor, Advocate or Writer to the Signet, prosecute, conduct or defend any information, complaint or other proceeding to be heard or determined by any Justice of the Peace in the United Kingdom or by any Sheriff in Scotland where the proceeding relates to HMRC or to any fine, penalty, or other matter under the care and management of the Commissioners”.

Both sheriffs and sheriff clerks are quite used to debt managers (that is, debtmanagers of officer grade or above) appearing before them so are unlikely to challengeyour right to address them.

A solicitor representing a defender may however challenge this right. If this happens

  • be ready to produce your debt manager’s warrant as proof of identity
  • be familiar with the legislation as detailed above and
  • be prepared to quote these to the court if required.