I have not given an answer yet, at present I am just collecting information.
However, can HMRC do this - yes.
How long can it last - until taken off.
However, what you can do is consider a Judicial Review. This is where a Judge in the High Court considers the complaint and sees whether HMRC act legally and reasonably.
The Judge can agree with their decision or remit it back for HMRC.
You would need to instruct a public access Barrister to draft pleadings and represent you in Court.
You can find one at:
There is a procedure for doing this, including pre-action letters. So you should instruct someone to help you.
You can find more information on the JR process at:
Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?
If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.