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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

HM Revenue & Customs
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Time limits for making decisions: National Insurance contributions and employment status

There is no statutory time limit for making a National Insurance contributions (NIC) or employment status decision.

Where a case involves unpaid NIC and payment for some or all of those NIC cannot be enforced, for example, because, the Limitation Act 1980 (the Act) (applies to England and Wales) or the Limitation (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (SI 1989 No 1339) (the Order) (applies to Northern Ireland) bars us from recovering them, the NIC are still due, so you can include such arrears in decisions if required. Any accompanying letter should make it clear that HMRC will not take any action to enforce payment of NIC for the periods that are barred for recovery by the Act or the Order.

In most cases, however, it is acceptable to exclude NIC from any decision which we cannot enforce because of the effect of the Act or Order. Make it clear in a letter issued with the notice of decision, why you are not including such NIC in the decision.

There may be cases where you must include unenforceable NIC in a decision, for example, where a person’s entitlement to benefits are affected.

If you require advice about whether to include unenforceable debts in a decision contact Central Policy’s Tax Administration Advice.

For more information about the effect of the Act or Order see DMBM665210 and COG915220

The Act and Order do not apply to Scotland.