Rogers & Norton News

HMRC targets tax evaders and debtors

Friday, August 21, 2015

George Osborne’s Summer Budget and Finance Bill 2015 have given more powers and resource to HMRC.  Peter Hastings, who specialises in HMRC litigation comments “Under Clause 47 and Schedule 8, a new power is to be given to allow HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to recover debts due to it (including tax and tax credit debts) directly from the bank and building society accounts (including Individual Savings Accounts) of debtors.

This is also known as the Direct Recovery of Debts (“DRD”).  This power can only be used to recover debts of more than £1,000, and is subject to a number of statutory safeguards. Only debtors who have received a face-to-face visit, have not been identified as vulnerable, have sufficient money in their accounts and have still refused to settle their debts will be considered for debt recovery through DRD.

Debtors affected by this policy will have 30 days to object before any money is transferred to HMRC and HMRC must always leave a minimum of £5,000 across a debtor’s accounts above the amount that has been held. If debtors do not agree with HMRC’s decision, they will be able to appeal against this to a County Court on specified grounds, including hardship and third party rights.

There is also a drive to increase prosecutions of serious and complex tax evaders and the crackdown will be led by civil and criminal investigations teams at HMRC.

Clearly the Government is determined to increase its revenue by such means”.

For further information on any issues with HMRC and Border Force contact Peter Hastings on 01603 675603 or email peter.hastings@rogers-norton.co.uk.