HMRC clamp down on late payments by seizing assets from businesses’

Recently, there has been a sharp increase in tax inspectors taking control of goods to settle bills with companies who cannot afford to pay with cash.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have seized assets from 2,833 businesses
’ in 2017/2018, which has jumped up by 45 per cent from 2016/17.

HMRC has the power to take assets from businesses’ that do not have the cash funds to pay their tax bill, this can include IT equipment and machinery. However, the removal of such crucial items could force firms to cease trading.

The increasingly aggressive debt collection policy comes at a time when businesses’ are already facing other potential risks such as interest rates and increased barriers to trade after Brexit.

Funding Options Chief Executive Conrad Ford, said: “HMRC is jeopardising the future of these businesses’ by removing their assets.”

“There are often genuine reasons why these firms aren’t able to pay their tax bills on time, such as cash flow issues stemming from late payments from clients,” he added. “There may be a better way for HMRC to recover the tax than removing a business’s vital assets.”