HMRC treble use of debt collection firms

Taxpayers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK owing money to HMRC are finding bailiffs calling to their door more often as evidence shows that the taxman has more than trebled his use of external debt collection agencies since he took them on. HMRC now spends twice as much on bailiffs as they did two years ago.

HMRC currently has 13 bailiff firms on its payroll, up from the initial 4, providing more evidence that HMRC is using more aggressive tactics towards tax debtors.

The tax authority’s spending on bailiffs reflects the increase, having risen from £6million in 2011 (two years after they began chasing overdue tax for HMRC) to £14.8million in 2013.

Reports suggest that HMRC believe that a debt collector on the doorstep gets a quicker response from taxpayers than its own letters. The downside to this arrangement is that any errors in HMRC’s communication with the agencies could result in taxpayers being wrongly hounded for tax they don’t owe or have already paid back.

Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors based in Belfast, Northern Ireland can assist you with any tax compliance issues and help if you have been selected for a tax enquiry. If you need to talk with one of our tax advisors please contact us by calling 0800 840 9288 or submit a contact form online and we will call you back.