New HMRC powers to recover tax debts

The government plans to introduce new powers allowing HMRC to directly raid the bank accounts of tax debtors, focusing on those who owe at least £1,000 and have been contacted multiple times to demand payment.

HMRC would not be able to empty out accounts, but would have to leave a minimum of at least £5,000 across all accounts held by the taxpayer. There will also be other safeguards intended to ensure that direct recovery does not cause hardship.

The measure has, however, been criticised for its potential knock-on effects, raising concerns that businesses whose accounts were raided might not have enough left to pay staff, as well as for the possibility that safeguards might not be sufficient to prevent HMRC from making mistakes. It also raises the prospect of HMRC using direct recovery to settle debts in preference to other creditors where the debtor becomes insolvent…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Gateley briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Gateley Plc

View more briefings from Gateley Plc

Analysis from The Lawyer

View more analysis from The Lawyer


111 Edmund Street
B3 2HJ

Turnover (£m): 71.70
No. of lawyers: 406