"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes"– Benjamin Franklin 1789

09th September 2015

A recent FT article (FT, 4th Sept, Adam Palin) suggested that UK Tax Payers are being unfairly penalised following the HMRC ‘right to recovery’ rules introduced last year.

After failing to keep up with an HMRC agreed ‘time to pay’ arrangement one taxpayer recently received a visit from an HMRC officer – incurring a £235 fee (on top of the original debt plus the 7.5 per cent charge levied on outstanding debts over £1500).

If the combined debt was not settled the HMRC letter made clear that goods would be seized and sold at auction incurring an additional fee of £110 plus 7.5 per cent on any amount over £1500.

So what’s your opinion here?

Is it heavy handed HMRC tactics that disproportionately penalise small business owners struggling to make ends meet and effectively killing off small businesses through taxes?


Is this a case of good credit control by HMRC and should businesses be held accountable for the tax they owe?

Whichever view you take there are a few basic rules that apply in all circumstances. Firstly, it’s vital that you prepare your accounts properly so you don’t have any ‘unexpected’ tax bills and secondly, if you’re contacted by HMRC don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore the letters, get in touch with them. Ignoring problems won’t make them go away!

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