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Problems with Debt Collectors working for HMRC?

For almost 2 years HMRC have outsourced collection of certain tax debts to four private sector debt collection firms. There were considerable teething problems at first, with estimated bills, and the private firms  refusing to deal with appointed tax agents. Are these or other problems still happening? I am collecting stories on this issue for a potential in-depth report.

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Well, I can certainly

say that, as an appointed agent, I was unable to speak to them, other than when I was alongside the client and they gave permission to the debt collector to speak to me.

Yet one more area where time is wasted for no good reason. At the end of the day common sense (whenever was there a glut of that when dealing with HMRC) would say that, in cases where debt collectors are involved, we are trying to assist both sides (particularly the client) to resolve and break down these barriers. The agent is more than likely going to "provide" information to these third parties, rather than trying to ask for sensitive details.

In the scenario which I was involved with, the debt stated was substantially more than was actually owed and, when the debt collector was challenged, he simply said that he would have to go back to HMRC to see what the situation was. In other words, these people have no"live" or useful details, they are simply asked by HMRC to recover a specific debt.

 

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I agree with above.

the information that the debt collectors are working with is often not the most up to date & does not take into account any payment agreements.

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There is another thread

in the WT discussion group about this topic, BTW.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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Advantis Credit Ltd (Debt Collection Centre)

 

We have had great difficulties with the above company.

Our client was (admittedly) late with a VAT Return and an estimated assessment was issued. By the time our client advised us of the matter the above company was involved threatening various things. We quickly submitted the VAT Return which reduced the assessment to nil and advised Advantis of the matter.

Advantis continued to send nasty letters. I refused to ring Advantis on their (expensive) 0844 number and instead wrote and e-mailed them. They refuse to deal with us as "we fail to pass the necessary data protection checks". I have replied again saying all they need to do is refer back to HMRC and they will find there is no VAT outstanding. 

Anyone else having problems?

 

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