Share this content
24

Damned HMRC debt collectors

PITA

Didn't find your answer?

I just answered the phone (unusually) and the caller asked for one of our clients by name. I highlighted that he didn't work here. Coincidentally, I've actually been working on that client's taxes this morning.

When I established where there were calling from (3rd party DC) I said that we were accountants, and asked what they wanted. "We can't discuss without authority".

I responded that, if they were calling on behalf of HMRC (a fair assumption) they most certainly could since we are fully authorised.

She was unfazed, and I got a little angry and told her to go back to HMRC to confirm our authority, and then call me back - which she refused to do.

I said in that case, bye bye, and just before I hung up, she commented "Rude". I wish I hadn't been so quick before putting the phone down, since I may have agreed, cut would have countered with not uncooperative.

Isn't it about time the work of Government was, again, performed by Government, and not by second rate outside organisations staffed by fools?

Replies (24)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

RLI
By lionofludesch
21st Mar 2019 13:27

Sure but don't hold your breath.

Thanks (1)
Bramble
By Chris.Mann
21st Mar 2019 13:54

Debt seems to attract this type of person, for some reason.
I received an (unsolicited) email, from the Capita organisation, regarding an employee of a payroll client, who had an attachment of earnings, from the local authority.
The content of the email was, in my opinion rude and, seemed to flagrantly disregard the employees right to privacy, under the terms of GDPR. The lady concerned mentioned to my client that "she'd obviously rattled my cage" but was, seemingly, unrepentant as to her comments.
In my day, Government officials were; highly respected, exceedingly good at the job and, equally importantly, firm but polite.
The UK seems to have lost its way, over the years and unless and until elementary skills are returned, the situation will only become much worse.
And, yes, I am aware that I suffer old man's syndrome.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By andy.partridge
21st Mar 2019 14:04

I'm sure they have been on a course designed to get you to lose your rag so you get marked down as abusive and uncooperative.

In other news, I'm sure there is a Russian agent hiding behind my wheelie bin.

Thanks (0)
Replying to andy.partridge:
Bramble
By Chris.Mann
21st Mar 2019 15:36

Are you like us, and now have four?
(1) Cardboard/paper
(2) Glass, cans and plastics
(3) Garden waste
(4) General waste
Sweet cheeses, the side of the house looks akin to the slums of the 1960's.
Due to the ongoing "grumpy old man" syndrome, I've advised the local authority that I'm ditching two of the said contraptions and, taking on the task of recycling at my local Sainsbury's. Behind one of our cupboard doors, is a positive library of the various wheelie bin collection dates!
And you think you've got a Russian agent behind yours? I've room for a friggin army!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By carnmores
21st Mar 2019 14:11

the problem of agent authorisation with regard to 3rd party debt collectors should be resolved. also where do they get the agents number from , from HMRC of course.why do HMRC feel free to dish it out to these blood suckers. Now for the HMRC scams ...............

Thanks (1)
avatar
By carnmores
21st Mar 2019 14:11

the problem of agent authorisation with regard to 3rd party debt collectors should be resolved. also where do they get the agents number from , from HMRC of course.why do HMRC feel free to dish it out to these blood suckers. Now for the HMRC scams ...............

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Jdopus
21st Mar 2019 16:16

I had a collector turn up on the 31st of January this year to our premises without any notice and looking to immediately speak to the owner. I was a little annoyed that HMRC would turn up at an Accountancy firm on the busiest day of the entire tax year, but I bit my tongue and patiently explained to her that the people she was looking for didn't work here and the owner was currently in a meeting.

She then decided to follow up her unannounced visit with a phone call an hour later demanding an immediate callback from the senior partner in the practice. I got a little angry myself at that point and told her that HMRC of all people should know better than to turn up completely unannounced at an accountancy firm on the single busiest day of the entire year and demand immediate attention. Unbelievable.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Jdopus:
RLI
By lionofludesch
21st Mar 2019 16:32

I tell them that paying the tax is not a service we offer.

We just agree the liability.

It's a bit like the division of duties between Inspector and Collector, if you can remember that far back.

Thanks (0)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By JCresswellTax
22nd Mar 2019 09:37

lionofludesch wrote:

I tell them that paying the tax is not a service we offer.

We just agree the liability.

It's a bit like the division of duties between Inspector and Collector, if you can remember that far back.

100% this!

It isn't part of our remit to ensure the tax is paid. We just calculate it.

I now no longer speak to HMRC debt collectors.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Jdopus:
avatar
By Mr_awol
21st Mar 2019 17:54

Could be worse. I recall once a BBC camera crew bursting into reception demanding to speck to the Managing Director. After making lots of accusatory remarks about our poor receptionist's unhelpfulness for not helping them to expose the cad they were after, we swiftly informed them that they were in the office of a firm of accountants.

They seemed unconvinced, waving a bit of paper showing that they were at the registered office of the group of companies they were after. We had to explain that there were at the registered office of several hundred, unconnected, companies but they took some convincing.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Jdopus:
avatar
By BIGWAL
22nd Mar 2019 09:11

Jdopus wrote:

I had a collector turn up on the 31st of January this year to our premises without .any notice.....


Was by coincidence at a client's premises when HMRC collector turned up unannounced. He was polite and sympathetic but firm. Could not be faulted.
Thanks (0)
Tornado
By Tornado
21st Mar 2019 17:49

If you complain about the actions of someone in the Debt Management Dept, you get a long letter from someone else that is full of waffle and fully supports the complained about person.

If you complain again, you get a long letter from someone else that is full of waffle and fully supports the previous two officers.

I am now now going for the third complaint about the previous three officers and I fully expect to get a letter from a fourth person that is full of waffle and fully supports the previous three officers.

At no point is there any acceptance that the first officer was wrong or even the offer of an apology.

You have to be arrogant and rude to work in HMRC Debt Management and also (judging by the difficulty in contacting individuals) be prepared to work no more than one or two days a week.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Tornado:
By JCresswellTax
22nd Mar 2019 09:39

Tornado wrote:

You have to be arrogant and rude to work in HMRC Debt Management .

Unfortunately that rules me out!

Thanks (0)
Replying to JCresswellTax:
Tornado
By Tornado
22nd Mar 2019 09:48

JCresswellTax wrote:

Tornado wrote:

You have to be arrogant and rude to work in HMRC Debt Management .

Unfortunately that rules me out!

I am pleased to hear that (and believe it!) on a day when arrogance and selfishness has a grip on our country.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Tornado:
avatar
By kiwilondon99
22nd Mar 2019 21:14

or for an energy company who harass - like they spend hours a day contacting you for minutre - but you can't contact them. sound familiar !!!!!

oh real difference is that they are rude, abusive and use odd phone numbers.. ah dealing with hmrc is so nice by comparison....

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Matrix
21st Mar 2019 20:16

We had exactly the same, asking to speak to Mr G and when we asked which Mr G they were calling about since we deal with two brothers, they wouldn’t tell us!

I know which one it was since only one owes tax but it is quite ridiculous and I don’t know how they get the number and why they don’t realise it is the agent’s number.

A few years ago I got a nicer debt collector who knew we were the agent and asked for a client’s number and I said I wasn’t at liberty to pass it on but the information may be publicly available (it was on their website). They obviously aren’t detectives.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
22nd Mar 2019 08:16

I had a pair turn up at our office a few years ago for the TV bailiffs, sans TV crew. They opened the door & said “ah, you the accountants aren’t you?” “Yes, who are you here for?” “X Ltd, sorry for bothering you”.

Differs from others’ experience, although since then we’ve had plenty of phone calls from Avantis(?) which were rude, after one-way information etc just as per others’ posts. We just reply with a standard “we’re the accountants only. GDPR prevents us giving you any personal details. If you write to us, we shall pass the letter on”.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By cathygrimmer
22nd Mar 2019 10:41

Many years ago, when I worked in London, I had a call from my client, the senior partner of a large, international law firm telling me that the collector had turned up at their swanky offices threatening distraint! They didn't owe any tax at the time. It's the only time I've managed to extract a grovelling letter of apology from the Inland Revenue!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By pawncob
22nd Mar 2019 12:56

HMRC have now issued advice to the public concerning scam phone calls which persuade idiots to pay large sums to the scammers instead of HMRC.
They now say if you receive a phone call from HMRC asking for money, ignore it and report it to Action Fraud. This may cause problems for the HMRC staff at Enforcement Office, who chase late payers by phone.

Thanks (0)
Replying to pawncob:
RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd Mar 2019 13:16

pawncob wrote:
This may cause problems for the HMRC staff at Enforcement Office, who chase late payers by phone.

Oh dear.

How sad.

Never mind.

Thanks (2)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By SteLacca
22nd Mar 2019 22:54

lionofludesch wrote:

pawncob wrote: This may cause problems for the HMRC staff at Enforcement Office, who chase late payers by phone.

Oh dear.

How sad.

Never mind.

I read that and heard Windsor Davies (RIP)

Thanks (0)
Replying to pawncob:
Tornado
By Tornado
22nd Mar 2019 13:19

We had one client phone us who had one of these scam calls and said she was very scared and shaking with fear as she spoke to my secretary. Fortunately she did not believe the caller and referred to us for advice.

I think the the time has come for all calls supposedly from HMRC to be curtailed immediately by everyone as this is the most effective way of not being defrauded.

If HMRC have a genuine claim then there are other ways of communicating with people which do not open up the possibility of fraud.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Tornado:
avatar
By Matrix
22nd Mar 2019 14:23

To be honest, if we didn't do what we do then I would not be able to identify a genuine HMRC call. A few times when they have called me back I have been less cautious then maybe I should be. But most people don't call up to discuss valuations for capital gains tax.

Luckily I took a call this week as they agreed to cancel a £100 CT late filing penalty (from before we acted of course), but thinking about it, they didn't take me through security and not did I, but then I was expecting the call.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By vandermark68
02nd Aug 2019 11:07

Know your rights in that situation with debt collectors. There are available guidelines below that hopefully resolve your problem
https://www.scottishtrustdeed.co.uk/creditor-details/moorcroft-debt-reco...

Thanks (0)
Share this content