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HMRC internal manual

Securities Guidance

Requirement to give security: PAYE/NICs: the person’s options

It is essential that as soon as the person is served with, or receives in the post, a Notice of Requirement (NOR) they understand their options and the consequences of the NOR.

The person can

  • Give security
  • Request time to pay their PAYE/NICs liability, see SG25560 and SG42200 
  • Appeal against the NOR, see SG70000.

Explain to the person that they have 31 days from the date they receive the NOR to

  • give security
  • request time to pay their PAYE/NICs debt or
  • appeal the NOR.

If the person appeals we do not require them to provide security until the appeal is settled. You should stand over the SAFE charge if a person appeals.

The person can give security by

  • paying a security deposit, see SG52100 
  • providing a performance bond, see SG53000 
  • setting up a joint account with HMRC, see SG54000.

If the person has an agent, advise the person to talk to them about the NOR. Once service of the NOR is confirmed, offer to send a copy to the person’s authorised agent.

Ensure the person is aware of the consequences of not providing security, which are that each person required to give security (PGS) can be prosecuted if they have not given security by the day after the date specified in the NOR. Each PGS can on conviction incur a fine of up to £5,000.

If an employer has an existing PAYE/NICs debt when you serve the NOR, tell them that

  • the amount of security you require includes the employer’s debt
  • Debt Management action, including Court and distraint action, will continue to recover the debt
  • you can offset security against the debt if the employer gives you permission
  • if you do not get permission to offset security against the debt, and the debt remains unpaid, you will write to the employer to warn them that you will offset security
  • if the debt still remains unpaid you will offset the security against the debt.

See SG65250 about offsetting security against existing PAYE/NICs debt.