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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Time To Pay: partnership Time To Pay requests: reviewing the Time To Pay request

Once you have confirmed that the relevant written authority is in place you can discuss the TTP request with the representative.

Establishing whether the partners can pay

You must reasonably establish that each partner is unable to pay their debt by asking why they cannot pay and finding out what they have done to raise funds to pay their debt. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Once you have reasonably established that the partners are unable to pay in full you need to ask sufficient questions, based on risk, to determine that the partnership is a viable business and is able to generate the money that is needed to pay both the ongoing partnership liabilities including PAYE and VAT and repay the debts of the individual partners through the TTP arrangement.

Total HMRC debt

When dealing with a partnership request you must establish the total amount owed to HMRC. Partnerships may also have PAYE and VAT debts and any arrangement must take these into account.

Where a partnership advises you that they have other HMRC arrears you should obtain the reference numbers and the amounts outstanding. If necessary, you should contact the other office(s) involved and discuss the proposals with them.

Where the partnership is unable to come up with satisfactory proposals to clear all of their HMRC debts they will be unable to enter into a partnership arrangement in respect of their SA debt, and each partner’s individual debt will be managed as normal - as will the other partnership debts.

Where the partnership requires over 12 months from the date of request (or from the due date the first liability becomes due where they are requesting TTP before the due date) to clear their HMRC arrears we will not be able to deal with a partnership TTP request and each partner will need to contact the appropriate office to discuss TTP for their individual SA debt separately and will need to discuss the partnership arrears with the relevant offices.

Total partnership debt below £250,000

Where the sum of each individual partner’s debt and any other partnership debt is less than £250,000 you should obtain the following information when considering the TTP request

3 months or less requested

Where the partnership representative advises that they can clear their debts in three months or less you must ask sufficient questions to establish

  • that the partnership can’t pay the debt in full
  • that they are able to make the payments that they offer
  • that they are able to pay any other liabilities that become due during the arrangement
  • if they are expecting any payments from HMRC

Over 3 months and up to 12 months

You must use the Business Debt Negotiating Framework (PDF 21KB) to determine if the partnership can pay their debt and negotiate the best sustainable repayment plan.

Where a further SA debt (e.g. POA2) becomes due during the course of the arrangement you will need to take this into account during discussions with the partnership, see DMBM802250.

Total partnership debt over £250,000 but below £750,000

Where the sum of each individual partner’s debt and other partnership debt is above £250,000 you should obtain the following information when considering the TTP request

3 months or less

Where less than 3 months is requested you should ask questions based on the Business Debt Negotiating Framework to help the authorising officer decide whether TTP is appropriate. You will then need to submit a Case Summary Form to the authorising officer.

Over 3 months

Where over three months is requested you must obtain the information required to complete the Corporate Debt Questionnaire (Word 166KB).

You must also obtain the additional evidence A-E from the partnership, see DMBM802300.

Once you have gathered all of the information and you believe that TTP may be acceptable you should complete a Case Summary Form and pass this to the authorising officer to enable them to make a decision on the request.

For details on handling TTP requests for debts between £250,000 and £750,000, see DMBM802220.

Total partnership debt of £750,000 and over

Where the sum of the individual partners debt and other partnership debt is above £750,000 you must follow the guidance in DMBM802230.