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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1: Personal Liability Notices: -What is a Personal Liability Notice?

Section 121C, Social Security Administration Act 1992

The above legislation provides that HMRC may issue a Personal Liability Notice where:

A body corporate has failed to pay the ‘contributions’ due at or within the prescribed time


That failure is in the opinion of HMRC attributable to the fraud or neglect of one or more individuals who, at the time of the fraud or neglect, were ‘officers’ of the company. Such officers are known as ‘culpable officers’.

For the purposes of the legislation, contributions include primary and secondary Class 1 NIC, Class 1A NIC, Class 1B NIC and related interest or penalties charged in respect of these contributions.

Refer to NIM12205 for the meaning of ‘officer’.

Neglect is not defined in the legislation and it is therefore necessary to look to case law for its commonly accepted meaning. One case frequently referred to for the meaning of neglect is Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co, 1856, 11 Ex 781, p784 - see NIM12209.

Further information on negligence is at NIM12116.

Personal Liability Notice is commonly abbreviated to ‘PLN’.