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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
HMRC's proposals to outsource some of its debt collection activities to the private sector has caused some controversy. The outstanding tax debt for 2007/08 is estimated to be around £17BN.
HMRC intend to run a number of pilot schemes, eg outsourcing debt collection to low-value debt specialists and selling debt that is deemed to be irrecoverable.
HMRC won't say how much the schemes will cost, or which suppliers they will use.
This is a risky tactic, at least as far as the reputation of HMRC and livelihoods of the people that they collect from are concerned.
There are a number of debt collection companies that employ aggressive and "semi illegal" tactics to recover debt; such as ringing people at work/home at any hour of the day or night, sending people to the debtors' work/home and generally being intimidating (they threaten bankruptcy and repossession of homes within 21 days).
These companies are used by "respected" banks and credit card companies (to wash their hands of the issue and to avoid damage to their reputations), it is therefore highly likely that HMRC will be using the very same organisations.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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