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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Ordinary Cause: Late applications to postpone

Where the defender applies for a postponement/further postponement, providing an appeal under Section 55(3) or (4) TMA 1970 has been lodged the service office will either accept the application or refuse it and put it before the Commissioners for HMRC for a decision.

Where the amount to be postponed is either agreed by the service office or determined by the Commissioners for HMRC, the service office will stand over the appropriate part of the assessment.

That being the case where you receive a stand-over order from the service office in such circumstances you should take the following action.


Postponement received prior to the expiry of the period of notice

Where full amount postponed and no notice of intention to defend received

  • suspend your action and request the service office to finalise matters urgently in view of the court action
  • notify the defender (or any solicitor acting) that the action has been suspended meantime
  • do not return the initial writ to the court.

The case will remain on the court register for a year following the expiry of the period of notice. If the postponed amount or any part of it is released for collection within that time you should advise the defender that unless payment is made you will continue the action.

Then where necessary return the initial writ to the court with a minute for decree for the reduced amount.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Where the assessment is increased as a result of it being released for collection wherenecessary, you will need to raise a fresh action to recover the amount of the increase.

Where the assessment is partly postponed and no notice of intention to defend has beenreceived prior to the expiry of the period of notice

  • withdraw the postponed amount and the related interest from the proceedings. (Note: as long as the initial writ has been served the ordinary cause action will remain even although the debt falls below £1500) and
  • continue with your action for the non-postponed amount in accordance with DMBM680920 etc.

When minuting for decree the following wording should be used “The Pursuer inrespect the Defender(s) has/have failed to lodge a Notice of Intention to Defend, cravesthe Court to grant decree in terms of the Initial Writ under deduction of £….(insertthe amount of the tax postponed) of tax, £….(insert the amount of the NIC postponed)NIC and £….(insert the amount of interest withdrawn) of interest which amounts arenow postponed under Section 55(3A) of the Taxes Management Act 1970, with outlays of£…. in addition (Court Fees £….) (Sheriff Officer’s Costs £……)(insert amounts)