beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Time To Pay: Time To Pay requests: joint debts

When speaking to a customer you must consider how much the customer owes HMRC in total. Where you are aware that other debts exist you must include these in any arrangement if TTP is agreed. You must not agree TTP for one element of the customer’s debt and ignore another. When speaking to customers about other HMRC debt you should check to see if there are any other debts cross referenced on IDMS. If the record has already been cross referenced and there are debts the IDMS TIS screen will show ‘Xref’ in the top right corner. You may want to use the IDMS trace taxpayer function to see if there are other debts.

Responsibility for dealing with TTP when there is more than one debt


DMTC collectors are currently unable to deal with TTP requests for more than on debt. When they receive a TTP request from a customer that involves multiple HoDs, and they are satisfied that the customer cannot pay immediately and TTP may be appropriate, they will:

  • obtain the largest possible payment immediately
  • note details of the request (including appropriate reference numbers) on the IDMS action history notes, and either
  • wrap the case or set a next action BF code for the campaign DTO to review the case
  • advise the caller that we will contact them to discuss their request, and that they should continue to make payments.

Other offices

When the case is reviewed collectors will be responsible for:

  • cross referencing the appropriate records
  • calling the customer back to discuss their request.

If the request is acceptable collectors will then link the debts and set up the arrangement and direct debit payment plan.

Cross referencing Tax Payer records

When accessing a customer record you must make sure that you cross reference the taxpayer records for different HoDs. This will make it easier to identify when the customer has other debts. To enable records to be cross referenced you should update the Taxpayer designatory details page with the appropriate reference number(s), see IDMSUG500620.

Once you have cross referenced Taxpayer records you will be able to see (on the cross reference tab of the Taxpayer Information Screen:

  • the amounts owed
  • who owns the Work Items (WI)
  • the action history of open WIs.

If there is more than one HMRC debt

If there is another HMRC debt you must establish:

  • which taxes/duties are outstanding
  • what the reference numbers are
  • how much is outstanding
  • whether all relevant returns been submitted
  • if we have started enforcement proceedings.

Where you identify another HMRC debt you must make sure that you cross reference the relevant Taxpayer records.

Establishing which office should deal with the request

The office that deals with the Time To Pay (TTP) request is the office that is furthest down the enforcement path.

Where it is difficult to establish which office is furthest down the enforcement path then the office that is responsible for the larger debt should deal with the request.

EIS will be responsible for any TTP request where they have responsibility for an element of the debt.

Where the case isn’t working with EIS and the VAT debt is working with the Large Debt Unit (LDU) then the LDU will deal with the request.

You should be able to identify the responsible office; the size of the debt and how far down the enforcement path a case is by looking at the cross reference tab and looking at the amount, WI owner and action history of the WIs.

Contacting the other office

If you need to contact the other office to discuss the TTP proposals you can find their contact details on the DMB contact details page.

When you contact the other office you should:

  • establish which office should deal with the request (see above)
  • discuss the proposals.

Reviewing the request

Once the debt and return position is known the office that is responsible for dealing with the request will need to negotiate with the customer.

Collectors should not accept an arrangement that will clear ‘their’ element of the debt and not take into account another HMRC debt for the same customer. HMRC is one organisation and should be seen to be acting as such.