Direct Recovery of Debts consultation outcome
21 November 2014
The Government have published the outcome of the recent consultation on Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD), which would enable HMRC to recover cash directly from bank accounts.
The response says that the objective is to recover cash directly from the bank accounts, building society accounts and ISA accounts of a small number of debtors who owe £1,000 or more. This is expected to bring in around £100 million a year.
The Government seek to reassure the stakeholders who have expressed concerns by further strengthening the safeguards which will apply to the limited use of DRD. These include:
· Guaranteed face-to-face visits to debtors from an HMRC officer
· a new, specialist unit to deal with cases involving vulnerable members of society
· ensuring judicial oversight, with a right of appeal to the County Court
· giving debtors 30 days to contact HMRC and arrange payment of the debt or object to the use of DRD before any money is taken and
· further new safeguards relating to transparency, governance and a phased implementation of the DRD powers.
The Government intend to legislate in a Finance Bill in 2015, during the next Parliament. Draft legislation will be published and consulted on due course.
The CIPP is pleased to learn HMRC have gone some way to address the concerns raised by representative bodies. The further safeguards to be introduced, particularly the face-to-face meetings are welcomed, as is the extension to 30 days for a response.