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Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) Act 1999

Section 3: exercise by Inland Revenue of functions transferred to them

96.This section describes how the Inland Revenue will carry out its new functions.

97.Contributions are brought into the definition of “inland revenue” as set out in section 39 of the Inland Revenue Regulation Act 1890 (IRRA). From this it follows that section 13 of that Act places a duty on the Inland Revenue to collect contributions. Placing contributions under the care and management of the Inland Revenue allows the duty to “collect every part of inland revenue” to be tempered by considerations of efficiency and cost to the public purse.

98.Where the Inland Revenue is collecting contributions it will continue to give due weight to preserving an individual’s contribution record. There is no intention to relax the joint guidance in Departmental instruction manuals for Inland Revenue and CA staff. This sets out the limited circumstances in which discretion over calculation of contributions arrears can be exercised and requires staff to allocate contributions to an employee’s record wherever practicable.

99.Several sections of the IRRA set out in section 3(3) do not need to apply to contributions. In some cases, comparable legislation already exists in relation to contributions. In other cases, the section no longer applies to income tax and would not be suitable in relation to contributions.

100.Receipts from contributions do not form part of general government receipts. They are paid into the NIF under section 162 of SSAA 1992. Section 3(4) excepts contributions from the requirement on the Inland Revenue to pay all receipts into the Consolidated Fund.

101.The section adds the transferred functions to the matters covered by the confidentiality declarations signed by Inland Revenue staff and the tax appeal Commissioners. All those concerned with the administration of inland revenue sign a declaration that they will not disclose information received in the course of their duties, apart from certain specified purposes. One of those purposes is currently for the purpose of a prosecution relating to inland revenue. Section 3(5) permits disclosure for purposes of prosecutions relating to the Inland Revenue’s new areas of responsibility such as contributions.

102.At present the Inland Revenue is specifically given a power of care and management by paragraph 6(2) Schedule 2 CBA to allow it to remit interest charged on overdue Class 4 contributions. As section 3(1) gives Inland Revenue powers of care and management in relation to contributions as a whole this specific provision is no longer required. Section 3(6) repeals it.

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