Concern at plan to let HMRC recover unpaid tax directly from bank accounts

Concern at plan to let HMRC recover unpaid tax directly from bank accounts

MPs worried people will be at risk of having money wrongly taken by HMRC, despite assurances of safeguards.

Plans to give HM Revenue and Customs the power to dip into bank accounts to recover unpaid tax will leave people open to fraud and error, a Commons watchdog has warned.

The Treasury select committee, led by Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, said the current proposals are “very concerning” because people will be at risk of having money wrongly taken out by HMRC.

Around 17,000 a year people could be affected by the new tax collection powers, which are expected to raise around £100m a year.

The Treasury insists there are sufficient safeguards as HMRC will only be able to remove the money after four ignored requests for the tax, the money due is more than £1,000 and only if there is £5,000 in the account afterwards.

But the cross-party group of MPs raised concerns about HMRC’s chequered record when it comes to errors.

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