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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Summary proceedings (Sc): The defender claims that tax (or part of it) is paid

Where the defender claims that payment has been made but cannot produce a receipt or other evidence of payment, it is likely that the court will continue the case to allow you to resolve the matter with the defender.

Countering the claim

However from your knowledge of the case, you may be able to counter the defender’s claim immediately and if so

  • make your point to the court by stating for example “M’Lord, the payment referred to was allocated to the debt for (year/instalment) and the (amount/balance of) tax etc sued for remains due. I move for decree for that sum, plus expenses”.

Request for continuation

In cases where you cannot readily counter the defender’s claim at the hearing you should

  • ask the court to grant a continuation to allow you to investigate and
  • resolve the matter with the defender urgently.

Payment in full received before continuation date

Where payment has not been made previously, try to obtain settlement, preferably by debit card. If you are successful and the debt, plus costs, is paid before the continuation date you should

  • write to the sheriff clerk quoting the court roll number of the case and advise that the case has been settled
  • tell the defender that he need not attend court on the continuation date.

(The case will not call in court and you need not attend.)

Payment in full not received before continuation date

Where payment in full has not been made before the continuation day you should

  • attend court and
  • ask for Decree for the tax etc (or the reduced tax etc where appropriate) plus expenses.

Cheque not cleared at hearing day

If a payment has been made by cheque which has not been cleared before the hearing day you should seek continuation of the case by stating for example “Payment has been received M’Lord but I move for continuation to allow clearance of the cheque”.

Cheque clears before date of continued hearing

If the cheque clears before the date of the continued hearing

  • write to the sheriff clerk, quoting the court roll number of the case and advise that the case has been settled
  • tell the taxpayer that he need not attend court on the continuation date.

(The case will not call in court and you need not attend.)

Debt paid before issue of summons

If, exceptionally, you discover that the debt was paid in full before the issue of the summons, the Department will be liable to any expenses which the court may award to the defender.

If the court awards expenses to the defender in such a case, refer the papers along with a full report to the higher debt manager immediately and also advise, if known, as to whether the defender (or the defender’s representative) intends to appear at the continued hearing.