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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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I have been sent a letter from HMRC enforcement - they say

Customer Question

I have been sent a letter from HMRC enforcement - they say I owe 61 k in tax !
My accountants have been fighting this for some time and eventually I was sent a bill and told to pay up or else. My accountants have contacted HMRC asking for proof and a statement and in the meantime it has gone to enforcement - I had a visit 10 days ago from a guy who was an enforcement officer who said I had 2 weeks to pay otherwise they will be back to list possessions and take goods to sell at public auction ! My accountants are getting no response from HMRC other than it has now gone for collection - they have tried to call the enforcement officer and he will not answer their calls or respond to messages left. I am looking for advice as we have asked for time to pay whilst the amount is looked at again but we are getting nowhere ! We consider I owe approx 30 to 35 k and can pay 5 k per month rising after July !
Any ideas and advice on right of entry and the system if they distrain possessions and what they can go after ?
Kind regards ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Hello, Rod, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question. Your accountants are perfectly correct in asking HMRC to substantiate their case. This is typical HMRC bully boy tactics and the enforcement officer was probably from a debt collection agency and acting improperly and unprofessionally. Did you check his identity, always a good starter for ten? The enforcement officer has no right of entry nor can he list your possessions. In the end HMRC must resort to the correct process which is to sue for the debt in the County Court or equivalent where they will have to prove chapter and verse of any debt outstanding. You will then be notified of the hearing by the Court and asked if you wish to enter a defence. Only after such a hearing, and you losing same, can bailiffs be appointed to distrain on your goods and chattels. Basically, and I suspect it is a debt collector not HMRC, they are trying to bump you into paying You should put to HMRC that, if you do owe money, you require time to pay and either you or your accountant arrange a repayment schedule which is acceptable to both sides. Any such arrangement will preclude any legal action anyway. They cannot go after anything without a Court Order and if any more of these improper tactics are employed I would call the police. Harassing for debts is improper, unprofessional and illegal. I do hope that I have shown you a way forward in this matter.