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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.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
HMRC, in a desperate push to increase tax take, has over the last two years increased its use of distraint to seize the assets of late-payers. In fact HMRC's use of distraint has increased four times, rising to 7004 in the last twelve months to April 2011, up from 1,675 in the tax year ending April 2009.
Stuart McNeill, Partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team at McGrigors, is wary of the increase and notes that the assets seized are often at "fire sale" prices that do not cover the tax liability.
"It is almost inevitable that this is resulting in a more aggressive approach and short cuts, but as well as having drastic implications for late-paying businesses and their other creditors, it may also be counterproductive.
By barging in and selling the assets of a late paying company without making a proper commercial assessment of the firm’s medium term viability, HMRC risk sacrificing full payment in a few months’ time for far less cash up front."
Additionally, by forcing insolvencies on companies during a sever recession, HMRC is damaging the economy as a whole.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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