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HMRC bailiffs for tax credits - can you refuse to let them in?

HMRC bailiffs for tax credits - can you refuse...

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For a tax credit overpayment, and where HMRC are threatening bailiffs, do they need a court order? Or can you just not let them in? 

Individual has a young baby at home and feels threatened, and HMRC are not listening to any reasonable argument - there is no money to pay, and they won't take her to court as they know they will lose on the evidence available. Also, there is nothing for bailiffs to take - but other members of the family are concerned about their own possessions.


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By nigelburge
23rd Oct 2013 11:05

I understand that..........

............ bailiffs have no right to force entry. Make of that what you will!!

Many years ago, I had a client who owned a lot of valuable paintings (Canalettos etc) but was always being chased by the bailiffs for outstanding debts. I once saw him run (well, hobble actually) out of his house and hide in a barn until they had given up and gone away.

He told me later that he always did this when unknown people arrived at his door!

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By Poindexter316
23rd Oct 2013 12:18

My understanding is thForced entry by a balif is permissible....

only where they are in pursuit of

unpaid criminal fines

income tax, or

stamp duty, or

on a subsequent visit to a debtor where they have previously gained peaceable entry  


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By Poindexter316
23rd Oct 2013 12:22

sorry about the earlier "typo" premature send and

also note that this is separate from any considerations where right of entry applications/warrants, have been granted where the rules are different.

Most common users of these powers in debt situations tend to be Utilities (gas, Electricity and Water) 


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By nogammonsinanundoubledgame
23rd Oct 2013 12:43

Interesting link to the CAB above

The guidance does mention baliiff powers in relation to Income tax, VAT and Stamp Duty (I suspect that they mean Stamp Duty Land Tax), but no mention of Tax Credits.  It would not surprise me if their powers have been extended to include all taxes and benefits under their control, and the CAB guidance simply may not have been updated.  If the TCO are threatening bailiff action I think it unlikely that they are doing so without any authority.

Incidentally, there are generous routes for having tax credit overpayment debts repaid by instalments, but it does require the claimant to engage.  If the matter has simply been ignored then it does not especially surprise me that it has come to this, but in most cases this is an unnecessary conclusion.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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