If you have failed to settle unpaid tax arrears, you may be in danger of receiving an HMRC enforcement notice. You need to be aware of HMRC enforcement procedures in order to avoid the penalties of failing to act on a notice of enforcement. Failure to act quickly may lead to your goods being seized or, in worst case scenarios, HMRC deciding to commence insolvency proceedings against your company. HMRC enforcement and insolvency decisions are reached for several reasons, such as:
- Your firm has already arranged payments deals with HMRC but you have failed to honour the agreement.
- HMRC has been unable to recover the debt through the standard collection procedures.
- The company has outstanding tax arrears HMRC is attempting to recover including VAT, tax and insurance contributions.
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4 Key Questions on HMRC Enforcement
What is the purpose of a notice of enforcement?
This type of notice outlines the specific HMRC enforcement procedures that might be employed to recover the unpaid tax arrears from your business. It is also a stern warning sign that HMRC is about to enforce bailiff action against you. The notice means that HMRC may send a debt collection agency to seize some of your company’s goods or assets and sell them at a public auction so that the proceeds can be used to recover the amount owed.
Once you receive your HMRC enforcement notice, you will only have two options. You may decide to negotiate a TTP arrangement or to pay the arrears in full. Here at The Insolvency Experts, we are highly skilled and certified experts specialising in HMRC enforcement and insolvency matters who can help negotiate a payment arrangement with HMRC.
A notice of enforcement can be sent to you by HMRC or by other creditors. Although other creditors must have a court order before sending you an enforcement notice, HMRC can send you the notification without securing a court order first. The court first asks the debtor to provide details of the accounts before issuing the “Enforcement Order.” Once the creditor receives the order, he or she has the right to send bailiffs to collect the debt and/or seize assets.
What are the powers and limitations of HMRC enforcement order?
Different parties have varying rights, so it is crucial to ascertain exactly who is visiting your business premises. Any HMRC enforcement officer should have a formal proof, like a certificate of enforcement or an agent ID. If your premises serve both commercial and residential purposes, the enforcement officers should only access your property during the right times and through permitted routes.
Under authorisation of Justice of the Peace, the enforcement officers may force their entry into your residential or commercial premises if the door is unlocked. Any accessible goods may also be seized, however, you need to understand that you can still negotiate with the enforcement officers even at the point of enforcement. You can contact our certified and diligent team of financial experts to guide you on how you can successfully negotiate a favourable payment plan with HMRC or the debt collection agency.
Once HMRC issues you with an enforcement notice, you will have 7 days to act on the notice. If you are not in a position to settle the outstanding tax debt in full, we can help you to attempt to negotiate a comfortable TTP with HMRC. An HMRC enforcement notice is not always delivered in person, but it is still binding. HMRC may send your notice through email, fax or post. If you are not around at the time the enforcement officer arrives or you deny them access to your business premises, they may decide to attach it outside your premises.
In most cases, HMRC hires third party bailiffs or enforcement officers. You need to ensure your company directors are aware of this. The officers come from a certified debt collection agency and are required to enforce collection of debt, including seizure and sale of the company’s goods to recover the unpaid amount. High Court Enforcement Officers are guided by the “Writ of Control” which allows them to recover unpaid arrears of £600 and over.
What are the outcomes of non-payments?
The HMRC bailiffs only visit your premises if you fail to initiate successful payment negotiations with HMRC or fail to settle the unpaid amount in 7 days. HMRC bailiffs first come to your premises and take an inventory of your company’s assets. That is part of the controlled assets agreement and they will require you to sign the inventory list once they are through. If you fail to sign the agreement, the bailiffs may commence seizing your goods immediately.
Once you sign the agreement, the HMRC enforcement officers will have the right to seize your business goods at any time. Your company’s directors will also be prohibited from selling or removing any of the listed goods. Such an act is criminal and will only escalate the situation.
How do I find the right help with my HMRC enforcement notice?
Here at The Insolvency Experts, we advise business owners to contact our financial experts ASAP to avoid the negative outcomes of failing to act on an HMRC enforcement notice. For many years, we have been providing professional and personable financial advice and assistance to clients around the UK. HMRC enforcement and insolvency issues can paralyze the smooth operation of a business and even lead to untimely business closure.
Once you are threatened with an HMRC enforcement action, seek financial advice to avert the undesirable outcomes of non-payment. Here at The Insolvency Experts, we have at our disposal a highly trained and committed team of financial experts to help you address HMRC enforcement and insolvency issues and protect your business.
Contact us as soon as you receive the HMRC enforcement notice for specialised guidance and assistance. Acting on a notice of enforcement quickly will help you to secure a TTP arrangement with HMRC and save your company’s assets from any seizure. Our team are available by phone, email or web form, from where you can request a callback.