Do you owe tax payments to HMRC?

Although this doesn’t apply to many of you, it is good news that HMRC are making some positive moves to assist those who are struggling with cash flow issues right now.

HMRC currently have some fairly harsh procedures for collecting payments of tax debt. Individual circumstances are rarely taken into account, which leaves those struggling with cash flow, perhaps for reasons out of their control, in a very vulnerable position. Sleepless nights worrying when the tax man will “come knocking” will clearly not cease completely – if you owe them, they will still want their money –  but for starters, HMRC are planning to issue an information document that clearly defines the legal rights of both the taxpayer and those of the “HMRC enforcing officer”, called the Field Force Officer, in this case. This is due to be available by September 2013. In addition, from September 2013, HMRC technology will be advanced in so much that Field Force Officers will carry portable devises so they have the latest information on the taxpayer’s account. This will avoid to-and-fro conversations where taxpayers have made payments or contributions that are working their way through the process but are not showing on a manual report. A dedicated telephone number for agents or taxpayers to call should the taxman appear at your house or office, is also on their list of promises, by August 2013. Finally, the introduction of a method for taxpayers and agents to verify the Field Force Officer’s identity; something which isn’t available right now, and will provide some power to the people in sticky situations. So, in summary, some moves in the right direction, showing that HMRC are in fact listening the concerns  of the taxpayers and trying to come up with some co-operation.