Friday, 21 November 2014

Your rights to stop tax officers grabbing cash from your account

This how HM Revenue & Customs explain ways you now be able to challenge their planned power to grab cash directly from bank accounts. 

Its what they call Direct Recovery of Debt and it only applies to people who they say have ignored 4 demands by letter or phone.

Direct Recovery of Debts – routes of appeal and opportunities to object to HMRC

Debtors will have several ways to challenge the use of DRD:

- Taxpayers already have appeal rights if they do not agree that the tax or tax credit debt due is correct. The exact process differs depending on the type of tax, but usually involves first requesting an internal review by HMRC. If the taxpayer does not agree with HMRC’s decision, they can appeal to an independent Tribunal. DRD will not affect these existing rights.

- Debtors who are considered for DRD will receive a guaranteed face-to-face visit from HMRC’s agents. Even those who have failed to respond to the numerous attempts to contact them  – by letter, telephone or SMS message – will again be made aware of their debt and have a further opportunity to discuss their case. This will confirm beyond doubt the identity of the taxpayer and that the debt is owed.

- Once DRD has been applied, debtors will have as a minimum 30 days before any money is transferred to HMRC. During this window, in which money is held in their account, the debtor can get in touch with HMRC directly and object to the use of DRD if they believe HMRC has made a mistake, or that removing the funds will cause undue hardship. HMRC will promptly carry out an internal review of their case. If there is clear evidence that DRD action will cause undue hardship, it will instruct the debtor’s bank to release an appropriate amount to the debtor.

- If the debtor still does not agree with HMRC’s decision, they will have a further right to appeal to a County Court on HMRC’s use of DRD or on the grounds of hardship. 

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