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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

Notices of decision: Wording of decisions about whether failure to pay National Insurance contributions until after due date was attributable to ignorance or error

DANSP25300 explains that appealable decisions can be issued about whether the failure to pay National Insurance contributions (NIC) by the due date was attributable to ignorance or error on the part of that person or the person making the payment, and, if so, whether that ignorance or error was due to the failure on the part of such person to exercise due care and diligence.

Persons named in a decision

The decision should name the contributor whose NIC have been paid after the due date.

Where Class 1 NIC have been paid, avoid naming the secondary contributor in the decision. Ensure that in any covering letter that you make it clear in respect of which employment the NIC were paid.

Period covered by a decision

When you issue such a decision refer to the

  • tax year(s) the NIC were due - Class 1 and Class 3 NIC; or
  • contribution year the NIC were due - Class 2 NIC.

Example of wording

The examples below apply the legal requirements and general principles for wording decisions in DANSP29200 and DANSP29300.

Example 1

My decision is that:

The delay in paying the primary Class 1 contributions you were liable to pay as an employed earner in the 2004/05 tax year, was attributable to ignorance or error on your part.

That ignorance or error was due to the failure on your part to exercise due care and diligence.

Example 2

My decision is that:

The delay in paying the primary Class 1 contributions you were liable to pay as an employed earner in the 2004/05 tax year, was not attributable to ignorance or error on your part.

Example 3

My decision is that:

The delay in paying the Class 2 contributions you were liable to pay as a self-employed earner in the 2004/05 contribution year, was attributable to ignorance or error on your part.

That ignorance or error was due to the failure on your part to exercise due care and diligence.

Example 4

My decision is that:

The delay in paying voluntary Class 3 contributions for the 2004/05 tax year, was attributable to ignorance or error on your part.

That ignorance or error was due to the failure on your part to exercise due care and diligence.

Commentary on examples

In all cases the NIC will not be treated as paid on a date earlier than the date of payment. This may have implications when and if a claim to a contributory benefit is made.

A covering letter should explain what the prescribed time limits are and why HMRC considers the NIC cannot be treated as paid by an earlier date.