It seems that HMRC have been sending letters to businesses informing them that their "outstanding tax debts" have been transferred to the HMRC's Distraint Department "to list your goods so that they may be sold at a public auction".
A tad "harsh" given that these letters, "signed" by imaginary non existent people, are being sent to businesses that owe ZERO.
Accountancy Age quote Paul Aplin, partner at A C Mole & Sons, who says that his clients have begun receiving these types of letters in the past few months.
"The thing that is missing from the letter is the amount of the debt that has prompted HMRC to consider such serious action.
The figure is, in fact, nil."
It seems that the letters are generated automatically when a "nil payment" submission has not been received by HMRC.
HMRC told Accountancy Age that these letters were being sent out, because HMRC was becoming more efficient in chasing debts.
So that's alright then!
This doesn't waste resources (eg HMRC's time in sorting the problem out, businesses time in responding, call centre time in answering complaints etc) then???
Ellen Green, an independent accountant, called the HMRC helpline and was told by call centre staff that there was a lack of morale in the front office as a result of the problems the letters are causing.
She was also told that contact names on the letter were made up.
However, as HMRC said, these letters are because HMRC is now more efficient in chasing debts!
Tax does have to be taxing.
UK EXPATS: Reduce tax on UK Pensions
HMRC QROPS provider. Unlock your UK pension and access a 25% lump sum today.
Quote ID code "ABC" when contacting a QROPS specialist.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
What is TAXWISE?
TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Taxwise
Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.
Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies