Budget 2014 – Direct recovery of debts by HMRC

The Government plans to bring in new powers in 2015 to allow HMRC the direct recovery of outstanding taxes from the bank accounts of taxpayers that owe in excess of £1,000 and have been contacted on multiple occasions regarding the debt.  The measures will be restricted to those with the ability to pay and a minimum of £5,000 must remain across the taxpayer’s accounts.

The measures are intended to strengthen HMRC’s recovery powers when the taxpayer has the resources to pay but refuses to do so.  It is believed that the new powers will bring the UK into line with other tax authorities already operating similar procedures in relation to tax debts, including France and the US.