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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary proceedings (Sc): The defender admits the claim but seeks time to pay

Where the defender admits the claim but states he cannot pay in one sum, the sheriff/sheriff clerk is likely to tell the defender that decree must be awarded to the Department as time to pay directions do not apply to tax debts.

Where exceptionally, the sheriff/sheriff clerk makes a time to pay direction in error, you should immediately draw their attention to the relevant provisions of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987. For example “With respect, M’Lord, in accordance with paragraph 1(5)(d) of Part 1 of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987, a time to pay direction is not competent in an action by the HMRC for payment of tax. If decree is granted however I am willing to discuss proposals for settlement with the defender.”

If, despite these representations, the sheriff/sheriff clerk still grants the time to pay direction then

  • accept the decision and
  • refer your papers with a full report of the hearing to the higher debt manager for instructions.