HMRC will soon be able to require employers to pay a security where there is serious risk that they won’t pay their PAYE tax deductions or NICs.
The powers will come into force from April and are an extension of an initiative that has already been successfully used for VAT, insurance premium tax and environmental taxes.
Failure to pay the security will be punishable with a fine of up to £5,000, enforced through the courts.
HMRC will target employers who deduct money from employees’ pay packets, under the pretext of paying their income tax and NICs, but have no intention of paying it to HMRC.
It will not affect employers who have genuine payment difficulties.
About Robert Lovell
Business and finance journalist