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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Time To Pay: reviewing proposals: previous compliance

When considering whether to agree a request you will also need to consider the customer’s previous compliance and establish what type of customer we are dealing with.

Customer types

Customer that pays on time

Where a customer has previously paid on time and submitted all returns on time we can generally be more confident that their approach to us for help is genuine.

Customer that has paid late

For debts that are payable on a monthly or quarterly basis you should look to see what the payment and return history has been like in the last year. Where the customer’s liability falls due annually you should consider the last two years. Where more than one payment has been made late you may want to scrutinise the request in more detail and see if there is a deeper problem.

Customer that has had previous arrangements and not stuck to them

These requests should be scrutinised. Our initial approach should be to refuse requests for customers that have failed to adhere to previous Time To Pay (TTP) arrangements (in the last 18 months) unless exceptional circumstances justify agreeing another TTP.

Repeat arrangements

In some circumstances a customer may settle one TTP and then request another or may come back to us to renegotiate an existing TTP. If the customer as had a previous TTP in the last 18 months we need to consider the request and look at the case again on its merits; you will need to consider why the customer has got into difficulty again and scrutinise the changes that the customer put in place following the last TTP.

Repeat applications must be scrutinised in more detail than initial requests and we must seriously consider the customers ability to pay and their future viability when making a decision on the request. Where we believe that the customer has the ability to pay in full they must do so and we should not grant TTP.