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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary Proceedings (Sc): Small claims - answering defences: Defence of 'repayment/set off due'

This is really a counterclaim and not a defence.

Response to court

You should

  • point out to the court that there is no provision for counterclaims in the small claims procedure
  • advise the court that Section 50(b) of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 provides that in proceedings in the sheriff court a person shall not be entitled to avail himself of any set-off or counterclaim in any proceedings by the Crown for the recovery of taxes, duties or penalties or to avail himself in proceedings of any other nature by the Crown of any set off or counterclaim arising out of a right or claim to repayment in respect of any taxes, duties or penalties
  • ask the court to grant decree for the full amount of your claim plus outlays (DMBM675100).

If the court is unwilling to award decree you should

  • ask that the case be continued to allow you to refer to the HMRC Solicitor for advice and
  • refer your papers immediately together with a full report of the hearing to the HMRC Solicitors Office (1st Floor Clarendon House 114-116 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4LH tel. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Response to defender

You should

  • advise the defender that any claim to repayment/set off should be made to the relevant office and will be dealt with as a separate issue and
  • inform him that in the absence of payment you will ask the court to grant decree for the full amount of your claim plus outlays.