Share this content
10

Heavy handed HMRC "field officers" chasing debt

Dealing with heavy handed field officers chasing debts

Didn't find your answer?

A client had a very unpleasant visit from an HMRC field officer on Friday who just turned up at his house wanting to enforce a debt/secure payment.

My client owed 25,000 in tax from 2016 and has an agreement in place with HMRc, in writing, to pay this over an agreed period of time by monthly DD which he has been doing. That debt is now down to 9,000.

He also owes 24,000 from 2017 which was due on January 31st 2018.

The HMRC officer has said that if the full amount of 33,000 is not paid within 3 months they would take steps to enforce the full payment (I presume by taking goods to the value).

2 things I don't understand. If he has an agreement in place re 2016 and is paying that debt down what is HMRCs problem. Why are they chasing the 2017 debt so hard so soon.

My client said the field officer didn't seem interested in the arrangement he had in place to pay HMRC by DD.

Is it normal for an officer just to turn up out of the blue like this?

Replies (10)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
30th Apr 2018 10:51

Do agreements to pay by instalments often not revolve around an additional commitment from the taxpayer to also pay all future taxes as and when they fall due, something your client has now failed at attempting?

Your client now appears to have a track record of paying late and I suspect that is why HMRC are getting somewhat more aggressive re recovery.

The 2016/2017 liability is not being chased "so soon" , it is now nearly three months overdue!

From my experience HMRC are far less likely to permit instalments re 2016/2017 than they were re what was presumanly 2015/2016, policy is I believe hardening and serial late payers ought to be made aware their options may be reducing.

Did your client make payments to account (if required) on time in January 2017 and July 2017 re 2016/2017 and, if he so did then did he pay full amounts or were these reduced payments on account? Answers to these might also have a bearing on HMRC's attitude.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By anneaccountant
30th Apr 2018 11:16

Thanks DJKL for the extra insights.
Fortunately I don't have many clients like this and to be honest he has always been troublesome when it comes to settling up with HMRC.
He's also one if those clients who you have to explain things to several times because he says he doesn't understand which is always a bit hard to swallow when you look at what he earns

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Matrix
30th Apr 2018 12:54

I just don't get involved in my clients' tax payments. Fortunately, like you, most pay on time.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By AnnAccountant
01st May 2018 22:07

Why is he too important to pay what he owes? The tax is on his profits right? Where has he taken the profits? Down the car dealer I bet.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
02nd May 2018 08:29

Ask your client if he’s seen ‘Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’.

Thanks (1)
Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
avatar
By Selaen
02nd May 2018 15:19

Can't Pay We'll Take It Away!

My cold black heart just jumps of joy every time I hear the words "and they'll have to use all of their expertise in taking back control of the situation" cos you know it's gonna be a good'un!

Thanks (1)
Replying to Selaen:
avatar
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
02nd May 2018 17:19

Can’t wait for the new season.
Did you see the one with the accountant who lived in the massive house but had had to sell all her furniture?
Or the one where ‘they’ turned up at the defendant’s Registered Office, the accountant’s home. On further investigation, the defendant was actually there having a meeting at the time!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Tax Conundrum
02nd May 2018 17:07

anneaccountant wrote:

My client said the field officer didn't seem interested in the arrangement he had in place to pay HMRC by DD.

Is it normal for an officer just to turn up out of the blue like this?

Unfortunately, HMRC's usual offices and their Debt Management departments aren't very well tied up and Debt Enforcers will often turn up without knowledge of a prior payment arrangement.

I have had officers turn up to my client's premises to enforce an assessment which is under appeal many times. They do not care that the Debt is not yet final, unless the HMRC Inspector themselves call the Debt Enforcer, they will not cease collection action. It is ludicrous at times.

Thanks (0)
By SteLacca
02nd May 2018 21:18

He has no agreement in place for 2016/17. Payment is overdue.

Why would he think collection would not be pursued?

Thanks (0)
Share this content