HMRC - DEBT COLLECTORS ON DOORSTEP -

HMRC appointing debt collectors on doorstep with no prior communication

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I feel sure I may have read about this. There are an increasing amount of debt collectors appointed by HMRC, appearing on doorsteps, with no prior communication from HMRC and the client being up to date. How rife is this. I'm going to do an MP lobby but would like as much ammunition as possible. Fat lot of good it will do no doubt

This goes hand in hand with electronic payments not being allocated to accounts. We were told pay this way and not by cheque. But its still chaotic

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By Tom Cross
08th Nov 2022 16:41

I wish you well with the approach to your MP. Whenever I write to mine, I wonder if HMRC are dealing with his post! Three months is not unsual to receive a reply.

On a more serious note, I would have thought that this procedure is extremely 'unsafe', given GDPR legislation etc. Even more so, given that, from what you've said, the client's have no outstanding liabilities. Is there no level, to which HMRC will not stoop?

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By rmillaree
08th Nov 2022 16:42

Probably very very rare without prior letters

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By Paul Crowley
08th Nov 2022 16:51

There were letters that were ignored, because they knew they paid

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Replying to rmillaree:
Jane
By Jane Evans
09th Nov 2022 16:05

Sadly not rare currently. There are several threads on the HMRC Agent Forum about this issue.

Others-18473

Others-18287

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Giraffe
By Luke
08th Nov 2022 17:18

I had this with a client last year. HMRC debt collector turned up at the home registered office address, two directors were out. Told the adult daughter the company owed £30k in corporation tax that wasn't even due until the next week. To be fair to the individual debt collector, when he spoke to the director on the phone he did double check and could see the debt was not yet due and apologised. Didn't stop the panic of the daughter and also the directors who all phoned me in a state.

Edit: client had had no previous letters as all was up to date (and they send me everything at all so I would have known if they had).

I put in a formal complaint and got a woolly apology back a couple of months later.

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Replying to Luke:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
08th Nov 2022 18:09

I had some nupty call me about a CT bill recently in the region of 6 figures.

It was only about a week past due. I asked had they sent the client a flippin letter. No he said. I suggested that might be a good idea to send a statement rather than calling me.

Turned out the client had paid on the deadline day.

Total waste of everyone's time.

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By User deleted
09th Nov 2022 09:38

Debt collectors at your door is quite threatening. If this money is not due, or has been paid, then HMRC are guilty of trying to extort money they are not entitled to with threats, which surely amounts to the criminal offence of extortion?

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Replying to User deleted:
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By The Innkeeper
09th Nov 2022 13:37

Try using prevention from harassment act 1992 or 1997.

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By User deleted
09th Nov 2022 14:38

I'd just use a size 10 boot up their backside, but that's just a personal preference.

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By The Innkeeper
09th Nov 2022 12:59

We had a situation a good few years ago where the boot boys turned up at the clients home demanding £x. £x was correct except for a minor issue £x was owed to my client. Of course the client was one of the awkward squad who thought HMRC could do no wrong

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Replying to The Innkeeper:
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By Paul Crowley
09th Nov 2022 13:13

Debits and credits are just so complicated

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By The Innkeeper
09th Nov 2022 13:36

Agreed. Still get it wrong when the window isn’t on the right

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By JS23
11th Nov 2022 10:54

This is what happens when HMRC cannot reconcile their own accounts and post them all to suspense.

Not late until the local council follow their foot steps, I can already see this happening at their end.

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By JacquiMBurns
11th Nov 2022 14:12

I have a client who paid over £66K on the correct date for their VAT return in 2021. Admittedly, the client used the wrong sort code (corporate tax one instead of VAT one but used the right VAT no as reference & paid it to the right account number. HMRC have sent out chasers but not contacted meor the client about them using the wrong number despite having: 1. Taken the details over the phone. 2. Had them sent to them by email. 3. Had them sent to them by post.
Now it is, of course, possible that they misheard them on the phone or even misunderstood what I was saying although, as a public speaker involved in politics, I do have good English diction & speak quite clearly when giving such details. Perhaps it would help if they did the same!

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By Barry Adams
11th Nov 2022 14:49

I still can’t understand why they don’t allocate corporation tax payments against anything outstanding rather than sending back by cheque!

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
11th Nov 2022 18:53

This can be very worrying. A few years ago a HMRC appointed debt collector turned up on the doorstep of a female client late Nov Fri pm.. note it was therefore dark and she was on her own as the business is run from home.

She opened the door thinking that it was her son who had lost his key.

Unfortunately she let the person in as there was only one way into the office (via her home).
Everything was ok and the company had already paid.
But what if children had been there.. poss frightened by this person asking for money?
But the collector should not have entered the property even if asked.

I complained but it probably happens quite often.

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Morph
By kevinringer
13th Nov 2022 14:22

Clients have had letters from debt collectors for tax not due. I've phoned HMRC who have said they have not passed anything to the debt collectors, but I've seen the letters which have correct HMRC references. None have resulted in debt collectors calling on clients in person. I have phoned some of the debt collectors. In most cases HMRC have not given them the 64-8, so the debt collectors won't speak to me. When they've had a 64-8 they have been reasonable and put the debt on hold whilst I try and get some sense out of HMRC. HMRC are in complete disarray. I don't have much faith in my MP after previous experience when I contacted him about MTD. I feel (rightly or wrongly) it would be more effective to send details to my PB. And also send formal complaint to HMRC.

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