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HMRC internal manual

Securities Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Security for tax at risk of being unpaid: Introduction

This chapter tells you about the persons we can ask to give security, see SG21000.

Security is for the tax/NICs that is due or is at risk of not being paid in future, see SG22000.

There are consequences for failing to give security, see SG23000. For VAT/environmental taxes we impose conditions; if those conditions are not met and security is not given to us there is the criminal sanction of a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence. For PAYE/NICs there is the criminal sanction of a fine of up to £5,000 for not giving security.

We risk assess cases to decide what security action is necessary to protect revenue that may not paid. We target the highest risk cases for security action, see SG24000.

Where a person has outstanding debt we may warn them about security action if they do not bring their tax payments up to date, see SG25000.

We check that the correct tax payments are being made on time and can, in VAT/environmental tax cases, direct a person to make monthly returns, see SG25500.

We will not seek security where a person enters into, and keeps to, a time to pay arrangement, see SG25560.

If we decide to ask for security we can, in PAYE/NICs cases, ask more than one person to give security jointly and severally with others, see SG26500.

If we require a VAT/environmental tax security we require it immediately. We will hold it for a period of no more than two years after which time the case will be reviewed, see SG26600.

If we require a PAYE/NICs security we require it by a specified date. We will hold it for a specified period of no more than two years, see SG26700.