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TonyTax
TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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I have received a letter warning of enforcement action.

Customer Question

Hi I have received a letter warning of enforcement action. I bought my payment plan up to date a few weeks ago but got this which is a surprise . I'm talking to them tomorrow but what should I do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Can you tell me exactly what the letter says please. Is it from HMRC or a debt collector? What were the terms of the payment plan?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's from hmrc basically says they called today to collect payment or to determine your assets for sale at auction. That I need to pay in full. If I don't they will visit again taking control of goods enforcement action. The payment plan was a 1k per month. I received a letter a few weeks ago requesting plan up to date which I did .
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Essentially I can pay a large amount but if I pay in full I'm left with nothing . I was going to offer a large amount and the remainder over two months . If they accept that
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Can you tell me how much you still owe please. What was the date of the letter asking you to bring your payment plan back into line? When exactly did you do that? Is the latest letter from the same office? Over what period was the payment plan meant to run? What large amount could you pay now?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
39k . I can't recall the date it was about 3 weeks ago . I did it immediately . Yes it's the latest letter. Until the end of the year I think . 25k
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.
Leave this with me while I draft my answer.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.
If you were paying £1,000 per month, I can't see how the plan was due to finish at the end of the year.
There are specialist companies online that handle this type of thing but I cannot vouch for any of them. If things get tough, you might take some legal advice. It will make HMRC think because they may have to explain their inconsistent actions in court.
It's disappointing that HMRC have resorted to bully tactics. They asked you to being the plan up to date, you did that and then you get the most recent letter.
I'd call their bluff. I suspect they are trying to get across that you are in the last chance saloon. They are hoping that you will just settle up. I don't know what living expenses you need to get by but you don't really want to rob Peter to pay Paul. First, tell them that you did what they asked and got up to date and so you were surprised to receive the most recent letter and are considering making a complaint and taking legal advice.
Test the water. I would try to get around them by offering a payment of £5,000 immediately and the same for each month thereafter until you are clear, assuming that is manageable. Ask the person you speak to to run it by their boss and to get back to you. If they don't accept, then offer £10,000 immediately and the rest by the end of the year.
I can't tell you to leave yourself short by going the whole hog and offering £25,000 immediately but you will just have to think on your feet. The longer this goes on, the longer it will dominate your life and you just need to get rid of the debt. Even if you leave yourself penniless for a while, you will feel better. I had a client in a similar position a few years ago and he cleared £70,000 over 13 or 14 months in the midst of threatening letters and a bankruptcy petition. When my client finished paying his tax debt, he had little money but he was so happy.
I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help I will discuss this with them in the morning . I will confirm the up front payment when I review my finances but I know I could make a significant payment immediately but I don't want to leave myself short. Given I got my payment plan up to date I was surprised to get this letter from them today !
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Given the amount of time that elapsed before you got the latest letter, I cannot see how HMRC were not aware of the payment you made to bring the plan up to date. You should pressure HMRC on that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you . They left a message on my phone asking me to call them which I also received when I got home so I have left a voice message for them saying I will call in the morning . I have told them I was suprised to receive their letter . Anyway thank you for your help I will sort it in the morning.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 1 year ago.
Good luck.

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