Disquiet over HMRC plans
The national media, as well as all professional accountancy and tax organisations, is criticising HMRC’s plans to be able to take outstanding tax direct from the tax payer’s bank accounts. There are particular concerns over joint accounts: HMRC want to be able to access 50% of joint accounts but this could lead to hardship and unfairness for the second account holder.
“I do have concerns about these plans,” says Victoria Bishop, robinson+co’s Tax Partner. “Only this week I have been talking to HMRC about a client’s outstanding tax bill. HMRC is threatening to send in the bailiffs – but the tax is not due! I wrote to HMRC over a month ago to have the matter put right but delays on their part means our client is being unnecessarily harassed.”
“Imagine the position if HMRC could go and just collect the tax!” finishes Victoria. Even MPs agree, with the Commons Treasury committee saying that taxpayers could suffer “serious detriment” if officials are able, either by mistake or through an “abuse” of power, to take money from people who have done no wrong.