HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has toughened its stance on
debt recovery, by taking money owed to them directly from hundreds of pay
packets during the last financial year.
In data obtained via a Freedom of Information request, it
was revealed that HMRC used attachment of earning orders against 428 people
during the 2017/18 financial year.
An attachment of earnings order is a method of debt
recovery, granted by a court, which works out the minimum amount of money a
debtor needs to live on and deducts the sum owed from the money earnt above
Experts believe that these orders are favoured by HMRC
because it means that the individual cannot reduce payments if they are short
of money one month and they are considered similar to the process of physically
seizing assets to then sell at auctions.
Although seen by some as one of the most aggressive tools
HMRC has at its disposal, the increase in people failing to pay debts is
beginning to justify the use of the tactic.
Data has revealed that HMRC’s spending on private sector
debt collectors rose by 62 per cent to £39m in 2017, up from £24m in 2016, a
move that has been attributed to the government department becoming
“increasingly impatient” over chasing outstanding debts.
An HMRC spokesperson said: “All of HMRC’s powers are
given to us by Parliament and are subject to appropriate checks and balances.
“Enforcement action is only ever considered as a last
resort, we will always attempt to engage in discussion regarding payment, and
when appropriate agree on reasonable offers of payment over a longer period of
time-based on individual circumstances.”
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed
that a total of 93.68 per cent of Self-Assessment tax returns were filed by the
This equated to a record number of 11.5
million taxpayers submitting their 2017/18 tax returns by 11:59 pm on 31
Statistics indicated that the peak hour for
filing was 4 pm to 5 pm on the 31 January, where over 60,000 tax returns were
In addition, more than 10.1 million (93.5 per
cent of total filed) taxpayers submitted their returns online.
Nevertheless, 700,000 taxpayers failed to
submit their tax returns on deadline day.
Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the
Treasury, said: “It is great to see so many people completing their
Self-Assessment by the deadline. Their income tax contributions have helped
towards funding the UK’s vital public services including hospitals, schools and
the emergency services.”
HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services,
Angela MacDonald, said: “Thank you to everyone who filed on time. This year, we
had a record number of filers completing their tax returns by the deadline.”
Any taxpayer who has missed the deadline and
needs expert advice or support, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with
Business owners in the UK are being reminded to take
sufficient measures to prepare their businesses for the upcoming changes to
legislation regarding payroll, which will come into force on the 6 April 2019.
The changes to the legislation are being introduced in a bid
to improve the transparency around worker’s pay and how it is calculated by
employers, and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published guidance in a bid
to help businesses prepare for the changes.
This is the latest tactic from HMRC in their mission to
crack down on payroll failings in relation to the National Minimum Wage (NMW),
auto-enrolment pension contributions and company bosses wrongly defining
workers as self-employed.
The new legislation will require employers to provide
payslips to all workers, not just employees and most crucially show fully
itemised payslips, with a clear breakdown of hours on payslips where the pay
varies by the amount of time worked.
The HMRC guidance outlines that the hours can be shown
either as a single total of all such hours in the pay period, or they can be
broken down into separate figures for different types of work or different
rates of pay. However, it should be clear which pay period they were worked in.
Payslips can be provided through printed or written document
or even submitted to the employee electronically, as long as they receive it on
or before their payday.
Ahead of the deadline, experts are urging businesses to act
now to ensure a smooth transition, as it is believed that many businesses will
need to completely revise their current payroll processes to ensure with they
comply with the new changes, which could prove to be a time consuming process.
It has been revealed that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has
wrongly issued millions of fines to taxpayers, just weeks before the
self-assessment deadline on the 31st January.
Currently, 11.5 million workers are calculating their tax to ensure they
submit the correct information to HMRC by the end of January.
However, during this month millions of taxpayers have been issued letters
with penalty fines of £100, one penalty letter stated that “your tax return for
the year ended 5 April 2018 was not sent in on time. Because of this, a penalty
of £100 is payable.”
Experts have commented on the issue, saying that this is the last thing
people need in January, especially when the deadline isn’t until another week
Meanwhile, HMRC has denied that any notices have been sent out
An HMRC spokesperson said: “No penalty notices have been sent to
customers doing their self-assessment online. Those who have sent their paper
returns late have been issued penalties as the paper deadline has passed.”
Alongside this recent mistake, many people have experienced a number of
technical issues on the site and using HMRC’s calculator.
HMRC added: “We are aware of an issue with payment reminders for a small
number of customers. Anyone who is affected should contact us and we’ll put it
right. Nobody will be charged a penalty or additional interest due to this
If anyone has received these premature penalty notices then they should
contact HMRC as soon as possible to rectify the matter.
For further advice or support, then please get in touch with us today.
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