HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Ordinary Cause: Preparing the initial writ: General


It is essential that the information contained in the initial writ is both factual and accurate and clearly identifies the defenders.

It must state

  • the total liability for which decree is sought
  • outline how the liability arose
  • whether or not there was an appeal/application for postponement and
  • if there was, how it was determined.

It should

  • detail any interest sought and also
  • request payment from the defender for the expenses incurred by the pursuer in taking the action.

Title of sheriffdom and name of town

On page 1 enter

  • the correct title of the sheriffdom in which the action will be raised
  • the name of the town in which the court is situated.

Pursuer’s details

On the right hand side of page 1 at “pursuer” enter the

  • full name of the officer (debt manager or above) who will conduct the proceedings
  • description “Officer of Revenue and Customs ” and then
  • the office address.


If a postcode is included as part of the address you must ensure that the postcode is correct. If you do not, it could result in perhaps a complaint or a defence of the action.

Book of Styles

All initial writs must be prepared in keeping with those detailed in the Book of Styles disk supplied to you by Debt Management Edinburgh Group Office. Where you come across a case for which there is no corresponding entry contained within the Book of Styles you must contact Debt Management Edinburgh Group Office for instructions.