HMRC are to be given powers to collect tax debts of over £1,000 directly from a debtor’s bank account, this even extends to joint accounts although the other parties share of the account will be ring fenced. The powers will enable all direct taxes, VAT and excise duties to be collected. The measure is aimed at “can pay won’t pay” debtors who have the money to settle their debt but are unwilling to do so. There will be anti-hardship measure to leave a minimum credit balance of £5,000 across all the debtor’s accounts. These will be powers of last resort and a number of safeguards have been factored in.
HMRC are being allocated additional funds to enable them to focus on tackling avoidance and evasion with a “special measures” regime to target businesses that persistently enter highly aggressive tax planning arrangements.