HM Revenue and Customs failures

The taxman has recently handed itself sweeping new powers to deduct £17,000 from British workers, it has been announced.

HM Revenue & Customs will be able to take up to £17,000 from pay packets – compared to the current limit of £3,000. It will target those who it claims have underpaid income tax, capital gains tax or National Insurance contributions.

These new civil forfeiture powers have been described as ‘draconian and regressive’ by industry bodies, while others have accused HMRC of acting as ‘judge, jury and executioner’.

Yesterday Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said: “This is another creeping of HMRC’s powers, which are skewed in favour of themselves and away from the taxpayers. HMRC is becoming a more confrontational and all-powerful organisation.”

These new powers comes just months after HMRC announced that they will be able to recover unpaid tax from bank and building society accounts without going through the courts.

Officials want to be able to take funds directly from current accounts, joint accounts or ISAs.

It will also be able to take disputed tax upfront from small businesses and individuals before a case is heard in court.

In addition, it awarded itself new powers to deduct the legal costs of a court case from your account before any judgment has been made.

These new laws will allow HMRC to operate in a very similar way to the IRS in America which has been at the centre of scandals where families have been forced into homelessness after having their bank accounts raided.

It would also leave individuals without the ability to pay for a lawyer – because their accounts and assets would have been frozen.

In the United States, civil forfeiture laws have created a situation whereby a property owner need not be found guilty of a crime—or even charged—to permanently lose her cash, car, home, or other property.

Police departments are also given incentives to seize property in this way – as the spoils are then shared out among law enforcement departments.

In 2010, the Institute for Justice, produced a report entitled “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture”.

 The report claimed that most state laws are written in such a way as to encourage police agents to pursue profit instead of seeking the neutral administration of justice. It ranked each state and the federal government on its forfeiture laws and other measures of abuse. The results are concerning: Six states earned an F and 29 states and the federal government received a grade of D.

These new powers that HMRC have awarded itself mark yet another worrying step towards creating a similar situation in the UK. It could also pave the way for other organisations such as energy companies and debt recovery firms to do the same.

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4 Comments

  1. 0
    Paul, I sympathise I had a similar problem with HMRC. . .I didn’t appeal, I agreed to pay it on the basis of a conditional acceptance. . .in other words ‘I agree to this payment upon condition of your providing proof of claim’. . .and it ended. What they do want is for you to get confrontational and then drag you to court. Go check out getoutofdebtfree dot org it’ll open your eyes!
  2. 1
    Paul I am so sorry to hear about your misfortune at the hands of legalised bank robbers. I think one forgotten aspect of this criminal behaviour is that many skilled and talented individuals end up leaving the country leaving us all the worse off for it Despicable and tyranny at its worse. This is how they treat their own citizens, imagine how they treat others
  3. Mark of the family... says:
    1
    HMRC are illegal believe it or not and here is the proof as written by a constitutional expert: http://www.courtofrecord.org.uk/gicor/record/HMQ-7/Affidavit_of_Michael_Burke_2011-10-10.pdf
  4. 0
    I’m a caregiver who happens to have lived overseas for the past dozen years or so. In July I received a penalty notice for failing to complete a tax return in 2008 – why they plucked 2006 out of the sky is anyone’s guess. But I’ve never worked for myself, never been a director or partner in a company, don’t have any property of my own, never have (and can’t) claim any caregivers allowance, don’t earn any income in any wave shape or form in the UK, never registered for self assessment or been asked to fill in a tax return before in my life – and yet they send me a penalty notice which (I’ve found to my horror) that it is impossible to appeal. I’ve telephoned and spoken to various faceless people who don’t care and can’t help, written letters which they say they’ve never received, and now they’ve just sent me another letter telling me that my penalty has gone up (from an initial couple of hundred it’s now about £1250) and threatening me that they’ll pass the debt to a debt collector if I don’t pay up. I can’t appeal through a court because I can’t afford to come back to the UK and, in any case, our child is severely disabled and it takes my wife and myself all of our time and energy to look after him. He needs several operations and I was hoping to be able to raise enough money to pay for a specialist to see him in the UK but I daren’t come back with him in tow in case he ends up sat in his wheelchair watching his Dad get led away for questioning after swiping his passport through the machine at the airport. Some other country will have to benefit from “my business”, in the case of providing medical support. UK? Wow, forget that for a lark – it’s gone to the dogs as far as I’m concerned.

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