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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1: Personal Liability Notices: Who Conducts PLN enquiries?

Section 121C, Social Security Administration Act 1992

The authority for HMRC to raise a PLN is provided by paragraph (1)(h) of Section 8 of the Social Security (Transfer of Functions, etc) Act 1999. This provides authority for an authorised officer of the Board of HMRC to decide any question as to the issue and content of a Personal Liability Notice.

Responsibility for applying the above legislation currently rests with a small national team within Specialist Investigations, based in London. The team carries out all enquiries and investigates the possibility of making individual officers personally liable for unpaid company National Insurance Contributions using the legislation at Section 121C of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

The concentration of this work within a small specialised team is consistent with assurances given by the government during debates on the introduction of this legislation, where in order to address concerns raised over the application of the legislation and its ability to ‘lift the veil of limited liability’ from directors, it was stated:

‘A small, specialised, highly trained body of staff will fully investigate the facts….we will be taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the initial decision to issue a liability notice under this clause will be a high-quality decision taken in the knowledge of all relevant facts.’

The Personal Liability Notice team follow clear and robust internal guidelines and procedures to ensure that the legislation is applied fairly, consistently and appropriately only to those cases where HMRC believes there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the failure to pay was attributable to fraud or more serious levels of neglect.

Any Personal Liability Notice queries or referrals should be addressed to:

Specialist Investigations
Insolvency & Securities
Personal Liability Notice Team
3rd Floor, Euston Tower
286 Euston Road
London, NW1 3UQ

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)