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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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VAT into IDMS: processing

The only situation where you will need to create a new work item will be if a “No Work Item” entry appears on an Exception List. Please see the Exception List guidance under DMBM950100.

Amending work items

There are some situations when you will have to amend a work item; For example where the debt is partially under appeal. The amend work item function can be accessed through the Taxpayer Information Summary screen.

Full guidance is contained in IDMSUG500200.

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Cross referencing and linking work items

From April 2010 a new field was introduced on the IDMS Designatory Details screen where the VAT Reference Number can be included on IDMS records. This means as an example if there is a Self Assessment (SA) record and the taxpayer also has a VAT Reference Number this can be recorded on IDMS. When the VAT work items are created in IDMS, it will use the IDMS Cross Reference to identify any other records that quote the VRN in this new field. IDMS will record details on the IDMS cross reference tab so that they are visible and you can see on the record any other debts relating to an individual taxpayer.

Full guidance about IDMS cross reference is contained in IDMSUG400400.


Linking is a means of bringing together a number of work items, possibly across different Head Of Duties (HOD) in order to carry out a common course of action. The clerical linking function allows you to link together two or more open work items up to a maximum of 300 to take the same action at the same time. (e.g. distraint)

Some users will need to be able to cross reference and link work items clerically.

However care should be taken not to link work items that have a different suspense code as it will corrupt the Management Information Systems.

Full guidance on how to link work items is contained in IDMSUG500700.


There will be daily updates to IDMS from the VAT Mainframe which will provide postings to account for payments received or adjustment made.

PYT Payment posting
AMD Charge Amendment
DCH Dishonoured Cheque
OAS Overpayment Posting
REA Reallocation
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S/O Stood Over


To view any postings received against a work item you need to access the Posting tab within Interest Calculator IDMSUG800100.

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Immature debt

You may receive work items which contain immature debt as they will be automatically referred to IDMS for example this is where an Officers Assessment is still within its 30 day appeal period, so taxpayers may query why action is being taken.

Unpaid cheque

There may be occasions where a cheque goes unpaid for a closed work item. This means a new work item will be advised to IDMS. Therefore any previous action history will have to be viewed on the closed work item.

Where notification of an unpaid cheque is advised within 6 months of the date of receipt of the cheque, then the appropriate work item type of the debt will be advised to IDMS. However, where this is after the 6 months then the work item type will be VAT (on Return).

How to record Action History

If previous notes on DTR existed at cutover they will have been copied into Notes/Assets.

They can be viewed by going into Taxpayer Designatory Data screen and selecting the ‘Notes/Assets’ tab (see IDMSUG500615 and IDMSUG500635).

Information that you would have included in scratchpad on DTR would be recorded in IDMS equivalent which is the Action History, not notes and assets. DTR notes showed the latest position at the bottom where Action History shows the latest position at the top.

The actions available will depend on the C/W role you are in.

You can record an action on the Records Action screen by clicking on the Add button and selecting the action that is to be recorded from the drop downs boxes available. However, ‘DTO Review Complete’ should only be used where the debt is in the STRATA campaign and you wish the case to be returned for action within this strategy.

You may enter any free format notes you wish to record in the further information field for any extra information that is not covered in the drop down lists.

Full guidance on this is contained in IDMSUG500415.

Notes can be recorded in Action History when there is an open work item. If there is no open work item but there is a Taxpayer record this information can be included in the ‘Notes/Assets’ tab. Where there is no Taxpayer record and notes need to be made on a case, a memo should be saved to Electronic Folder (EF).

How to set and unset Next Action

Once you have recorded your actions, consider the Next Action and B/F Date.

There are four options available but only one can be chosen

  • accept Current Next Action and B/F Date
  • proposed Next Action and New B/F Date
  • move to - to move the work item or linked set to a different C/W role or an automated process
  • record Quantified Amount or Record Manual Calculation.

Full guidance is found in IDMSUG500415.

How to transfer ownership

Transferring a work item does not mean transferring case ownership.

Generally, when sending a debt to a specialist office you would only transfer the record at work item level.

You may be required to transfer ownership of a case in some circumstances; for example, where review code 309 is set to identify an RLS taxpayer.

The function Transfer Ownership allows you to transfer a taxpayer record and/or work item to another IDMS Debt Technical office (DTO), an Enforcement & Insolvency Office - see IDMSUG500905.

IDMS exception lists

This function allows you to view a list of rejections/exceptions when data is sent from the VAT Mainframe. The list shows you IDMS work items that need to be reviewed as they are out of step with the Head of Duty system. For example an update to taxpayer designatory data has failed

Each Organisational Unit (OU) has an exception list. This is not restricted to individual work lists as it shows all the work items that require attention for your office.

For non-specialist units the work list manager will be distributing the exception lists to the DTO.

You must deal with all the exceptions on a regular basis as it is important that HOD systems and IDMS agree to avoid future problems - see IDMSUG700105.

Where Exception list code ‘W’ is generated follow the guidance for Exception Handling in DMBM950100.

PLAR and Inhibit data

When reviewing exception lists it is important to ensure that any signals that are no longer applicable to the record are removed. Cases with PLAR signals set will prevent future work items from going through the automated process (see above).

How to change Designatory details

For VAT customers DMB continue to use DTR to update Insolvency details and telephone numbers.

Confirmation for changes to addresses and other details (apart from telephone number) is required in writing. Once received, forward by EF to Variations NRS Wolverhampton 222. Once this change has been updated to the VAT mainframe IDMS will be updated. So you should not change an address by updating designatory details screen.

However, you will be able to make the following changes on designatory details add agent addresses and telephone numbers - see IDMSUG500620.

The telephone number contained in Trader on DTR will be used to populate the telephone number in Designatory Data in IDMS. If you are made aware or discover the telephone number of the VAT registered taxpayer has changed you have to change it on DTR. Otherwise every time a new LAN is received it will override. You should note the action history that you have changed it on DTR as the change will not be reflected on IDMS immediately.

Changes to agent details, 64-8 and the CAAT

The Central Agent Authorisation Team at Longbenton is responsible for the processing of 64- 8 for agent authorisations. There are some exceptions including VAT.

If a 64- 8 is received by the CAAT they will process the agents details to any direct tax references quoted which will then be updated to IDMS. They do not set the signal on IDMS in TIS screen or make notes on IDMS. If any 64-8’s received mention VAT or a VRN they will only scan the document to EF and forward it to NRS Variations at Grimsby, EF Tray 228S648R if it has a VRN at time of scanning or EF Tray 228S648 if no VRN quoted at time of scanning. Grimsby will index the case to show the VAT number or if they do not become VAT registered will change the document type and close the case.

The IDMS signal for 64-8 will not be ticked by this action. DMB can only tick the signal if there is a work item on IDMS. If you receive a next action W/I where DMTC have not been able to see the authorisation as no access to EF, you should check EF to confirm it is held then tick the 64- 8 signal on IDMS for VAT. Update the representative’s details to the ‘Agent’ tab under ‘Other Addresses’ within Designatory Details on IDMS.

If it is not obvious from DTR notes that the agent has a 64-8 authority DMTC, who have no access to EF, will ask the agent for their clients direct tax reference as a security check i.e. PAYE, CT. DMTC will then enter that HOD system to confirm that the 64-8 signal is there. If it is, they will deal with the case and wrap it as per their guidance. In addition they will send an e-mail to the VAT SPOC who will check EF for a 64-8 and where present, tick the signal on IDMS for the VAT work item.

Other functions Instalment Arrangements

There is a centralised Time To Pay Monitoring Office which is operated from 4 sites, Romford, Chatham, Harrogate and Inverness. When a TTP has been agreed by BPSS/DMTC/FF/DTO and set up on the system, using the IA functionality, or has a next action code of TTP monitor the cases are moved to the following OUs.

Time To Pay (England and Wales) 367200
Time To Pay (Scotland) 367300
Time To Pay (Northern Ireland) 368300


The role of the office is to monitor TTPs across all HODs and take timely action if they default. See Time to Pay Monitoring Office for further information.


If you agree an arrangement with the taxpayer, the Instalment Arrangement (IA) function allows you to record the details. IDMS will then be used to automatically monitor payment arrangements, including court orders.

Further information is found in IDMSUG501400.

You can only create an IA if you own the work item(s), you have wider access, there is no existing IA and you are in the correct role.

The function can be accessed through TIS.

Processing a VAT write-off and centralised Write Off/ Remissions Office

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