George Osborne has given HMRC the power to delve into your bank accounts for money that officials think is owed by you in unpaid taxes, a move which critics have warned leaves officials “a law unto themselves”.
The Chancellor slipped details of the move out in the Budget which stated that HMRC will be able to take money from people who owe officials over £1,000 in tax.
Officials will only be able to use the power for Britons who have been asked “multiple times” by debt collection officials to pay, and must leave at least £5,000 in the account.
“This brings the UK in line with many other tax authorities which already have the power to recover debts directly from an individual’s account, such as France and the US,” the Budget reads.
Once HMRC takes the money, the taxpayer will have 14 days to get in touch and set up a payment plan, otherwise officials will keep what they have taken.
Osborne’s Budget also gave HMRC the power to take money from those they suspect of unfairly avoiding tax, with money only handed back – with interest – if the taxpayer wins a legal challenge in the courts
These powers are still subject to final consultation, but are expected to be in place by April 2015.
If you require any assistance with your tax affairs please contact Karen Robinson on 0161 975 6700.