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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

HM Revenue & Customs
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Notices of decision: Language in decisions does not reflect the dispute

DANSP29300 explains what must be included in a decision and general principles that should be adopted when wording a decision. The language used in the decision may not directly reflect the dispute upon which you are corresponding. See the example below which illustrates this point.

Example 1

A person considers that he was not liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NIC) on certain payments which his employer included in gross pay when calculating Class 1 NIC. He requests a refund of those NIC. HMRC looks at the facts and concludes that the NIC were properly paid. The notice of decision will include a NIC liability and NIC paid decision.

The decision does not tell the person directly that he is not entitled to a refund. But if the liable amount of NIC is the same as the paid amount of NIC, the conclusion that can be drawn from this is that a refund is not due.

Example 2

A worker from the USA who comes to work in the UK considers that he is not subject to UK legislation but the USA authorities have not issued a certificate of coverage. No Class 1 NIC have been paid. The notice of decision will include a NIC liability and NIC paid decision.

The decision does not tell the worker that he is not insured under USA legislation. What it tells him is that he is liable to pay NIC in the UK and that he has not paid any.

Example 3

An employer withholds the payment of statutory sick pay (SSP) from an employee because the employee notified their sick absence late. The employer considered that the employee did not have a reasonable reason for notifying late. The employee disagrees. If HMRC considers that the employer was correct the notice of decision will include a decision which shows that the employee is not entitled to SSP for the period the employer withheld the SSP. If HMRC considers that the employee was entitled to SSP for the period that the employer withheld the SSP, the notice of decision will include a decision telling the

* employee that they are entitled to SSP, and
* employer they are liable to pay SSP.
Example 4
An employer applies for the Regional Employer NICs Holiday. Local Compliance establish that the business is not a new business. The employer considers that the business is a new business. If a notice of decision is issued the employer will be told that they are not entitled to make a deduction under section 8 of the National Insurance Contributions Act 2011. The decision will not explain why. This should have been explained in previous correspondence.

As a decision is briefly worded to fit in with the legal requirements, it is usually necessary to send a covering letter of explanation with the notice of decision, see DANSP43000. This will provide any necessary explanations. For example, in example 3, the letter will explain what legislation allows for SSP to be withheld and why HMRC considers that the SSP is either payable or not payable.