A large number of businesses are receiving letters from HM Revenue & Customs, threatening to seize goods in order to pay off outstanding tax debts. To many this may seem a reasonable move in order to collect monies owing to HMRC, but the companies involved owe nothing. The letters inform businesses that they have tax debts outstanding, and the Distraint Department of HMRC intend to list their goods to sell at public auction.
In order to sort this out, businesses are urged by HMRC to phone a helpline or pay the full amount owed. No amount is actually specified on the letters, which makes the action taken by HMRC all the more worrying, as the amounts owed are actually nil.
A spokesperson for HMRC said that the letters were generated automatically when companies failed to make a nil payment submission. Although some accountancy firms could appreciate the reason behind the letters being sent out, the general feeling is that the letters should be gentle reminders to make the submission rather than being threatening.
It has also been revealed that calls to the helpline are very often not answered. A report in The Daily Mail recently revealed that individuals had received similar letters, even though they had previously made payment arrangements with HMRC. This situation can cause a huge amount of worry, and takes valuable time away from your business in order to pursue HMRC. A low cost accountants will contact HMRC on your behalf, ensuring that any action by HMRC is prevented.
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