When will HMRC start sending the heavies in?
We all know how ridiculous it is to expect people to pay their tax bills at the end of Januar y- that infamously ridiculously long month trying to stretch the pennies left after Christmas excesses. And yes, I know people should have budgeted for tax due, but how many of us always do what we should? Exactly.
But now, and as reported in full technicolour outrage by the Daily Mail, HMRC are going to start sending the heavies in - engaging debt collectors to extract the outstanding cash from poor unsuspecting taxpayers.
At the moment it is not clear whether the big boys will be sent after those who have run up debts in excess of £10,000, or, as was the case in last year’s pilot scheme, those who are ‘legacy’ debtors, ie who have been a naughty boy or girl for an extended period of time.
There were concerns raised last year when some smaller companies were contacted by these agencies before a debt had even become due for payment. The response? "HMRC does not recognise the scenario described."
While you could argue it is only fair that the historic or huge debtor should be subject to chasing in order to recoup Treasury money rightly owned, we have probably all been on the receiving end of heavy-handed, inappropriate or plain ridiculous debt collection agency tactics, that are not really in keeping with an organisation that prides itself on having ‘customers’. HMRC have always had recourse to sending in bailiffs in extreme cases- is this not reasonable force?
And if you are reading, ridiculous pretending-to-be-Australian female car insurance company, whose rude and aggressive debt collectors chased me for £24.31 when I was still a direct debit customer, yes, I am thinking of you...