Exposed by the Times
“HMRC and councils using debt collecting firms owned in tax havens”.
“They have pursued families struggling to pay tax bills during the pandemic. But debt collection firms hired by the Revenue and local councils include some that have owners based in tax havens. Another of the companies is owned by a family that ran a notorious payday loan firm, leading to questions over the judgment of those who have hired them.
“The findings come after The Times revealed yesterday that HM Revenue and Customs has sent letters to families during the pandemic accusing them of “deliberately” choosing not to repay debts and threatening to “take things you own and sell them”.
“The department also uses private debt collection firms and has passed on 4.5 million personal records to them since 2014 without taxpayers’ specific consent”.
You really couldn’t make this up, could you? HMRC hiring tax avoiders hiding fortunes off-shore to avoid paying tax! The very idea!
Revenue officials have written to families struggling to settle bills during the pandemic and threatened to “take things you own and sell them”. Letters have been sent accusing people on low incomes of “deliberately” choosing not to pay taxes. They are warned that officials “can take money directly from your bank or business society accounts”.
While much of the country has benefited from billions in financial aid, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has tried to collect debts by sending agents to visit people.
The enforcement tactics, which have included the use of eight private debt collection companies, have been condemned for causing “distress” and “emotional trauma”. In some cases, however, the arrears are the result of HMRC errors.