“We are here to collect payment or remove goods. Your choice.” said the bailiff.
No. This isn’t a scene from hit Channel 5 programme Can’t pay, take it away. This is a day to day scenario when HMRC want to collect unpaid tax bills.
The reality of the situation is HMRC spent £27 million quid on private debt collectors in 2018, which is a jump from £20 million in 2014.
And experts are predicting that bailiffs + HMRC = the perfect match over the coming years.
That’s right. If you thought that HMRC would be toning down their debt collection approach. Then think again. In fact, reports suggest that their approach is becoming more aggressive.
Many bailiffs turn up at doors at the crack of dawn and start pounding away. If they turn up at your business then they could even smash the door in, or climb through a window, or call a locksmith.
What if they do gain access to your premises and you come face to face with a “Sheriff?” You are given two choices…”pay or we take the lot away.”
If you don’t pay then in no time at all they have a removal van on the scene…and your debt has just gone up by a few hundred pounds.
“This is your last chance to pay,” said the bailiff
“I will never pay, HMRC will just have to take it away!” you say.
But then they do start taking away your TV, fridge, computer, table and chairs…and then you finally crack.
“Ok…Ok…do you take a cheque?” you say.
“No only card or bank transfer,” they reply.
These bailiffs have no mercy and no remorse, and with the powers invested in them by HMRC and The High Court, they are like a school yard bully on steroids, with a double dose of “RAGE” if you don’t put your card in their card machine.
Fortunately here at Umbrella Companies we always pay HMRC every penny, but if bailiffs did turn up at the UC HQ then I’m sure they would say something like…
“Pay or we take the umbrellas away.”
“Er…We DON’T sell…oh forget it…give me your bank details,”
HMRC were handed the power by Law to use private debt companies in 2009, and many pundits are claiming they are under pressure to maximise tax revenues, which has led to the bailiffs becoming very aggressive in their approach.
Not only that, but reports suggest the communication between HMRC and bailiffs is poor, which often leads to wrong people being chased up or debts being pursued which have already been paid.