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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Summary Proceedings (Sc): Small claims - answering defences: Defender claims 'the tax has already been paid'

Guidance on answering a defence of “the tax has already been paid”

If the defender claims that the tax has already been paid, you should

  • ask the defender for evidence of the payment (for example a copy of the receipt or paid cheque) and
  • check the payment with the information contained in your papers.

Payment traced

Where you can identify the payment that the defender claims has been made you should

  • explain to the court how the money was allocated and
  • ask for decree for any balance remaining plus outlays (DMBM675100).

Payments not recorded on papers

If you think that the defender may have made payments which are not recorded on your papers

  • ask the court to continue the case to enable you to investigate further

and as a matter of urgency

  • try to clarify the position with the defender.

If you are able to resolve the matter prior to the continuation date you should

  • attend the court to explain the position and
  • ask for decree for any balance outstanding plus outlays.

If by the continuation date you are unable to counter the defence you should

  • attend the court and explain the position and
  • ask the sheriff/sheriff clerk to fix a date for a full hearing (DMBM678060).

You should then arrange for your papers to be submitted as a matter of urgency to HMRC Solicitors Office.