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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

RLS: direct taxes procedures: COTAX cases

When a limited company becomes RLS

  • check IDMS for an Action History note indicating that all trace options for the RLS address have previously been exhausted by Tracing Group.

If so, please

  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • arrange for any associated PAYE scheme to be cancelled as appropriate.

If there is no such note

  • check IDMS for a useable address

    • View Taxpayer Information Screen
    • View Taxpayer Designatory Data
  • check COTAX for a useable address

    • View Taxpayer Designatory Details
    • View Communication Name and Address
  • check BROCS & EBS for a useable address
  • telephone any available telephone number
  • telephone the agent if an agent is acting.

If no new address is found you should

  • set the RLS signal on all addresses on the COTAX and IDMS
  • check the case is on the C/W RLS Worklist (if it is not - re-check that you have set RLS on all addresses)
  • record an appropriate note on ACTION HISTORY detailing trace actions taken and any relevant information obtained. Set a next action of REVIEW and the B/F date to today’s date
  • use TRANSFER OWNERSHIP to transfer the record at both Taxpayer and work item level to the relevant Tracing Unit according to your associated Accounts Office as follows

    • Shipley 397101
    • Cumbernauld 397001
  • transfer the COTAX record to the Tracing Group, using

    • 971 for Shipley and
    • 970 for Cumbernauld.

It is important that you follow this guidance when carrying out the initial address trace, to help eliminate unnecessary re-work of cases.

For cases with the return destination postcodes G70 5TR and BD98 8AA

DMB Tracing Group will set the appropriate signals and where all associated addresses are RLS and open IDMS work items exist they will take immediate responsibility by transferring ownership of the taxpayer record and associated work items to their IDMS OU. DPOs will no longer be required to undertake initial trace activity on these cases.

This guidance does not apply to cases noted on IDMS as working with EIS.


Examples of COTAX RLS cases exempt from this guidance

  • undelivered mail issued in envelopes showing the return destination postcode of G70 5TT and distributed to DPOs via National Distribution Unit (NDU)
  • RLS cases identified following debt recovery contact (telephone calls or visits)
  • cases where the RLS signal is set on the record as result of clerical intervention at an office other than Tracing Group
  • cases where the RLS signal is set on the record as a result of system interface.

DPOs should continue to follow the guidance documented earlier on this page for cases which continue to populate their worklist.

This guidance does not change the current arrangements for handling, transfer and dealing with EIS Office RLS cases.