Budget change to see HMRC take tougher stance on unpaid tax

27th March 2013

Consumers and the self-employed with outstanding tax bills may soon be forced to have their debt secured against their home if it is not repaid on time.

Hidden in the small print of the Chancellor's Budget statement yesterday, George Osborne MP permitted HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to take a tougher stance on unpaid tax. He introduced a number of measures designed to clamp down on tax avoidance. This included allowing HMRC to make more use of Charging Orders against individuals if they fail to adhere to any repayment agreements. Phil Meekin, from insolvency and business recovery specialist Wilson Field, said: -When a debtor - such as somebody who has an unpaid tax bill is not able to pay, HMRC may apply for a County Court Judgement (CCJ). -The issue of a CCJ confirms the validity of the debt and, if it remains unpaid, opens a variety of enforcement actions to enable a creditor to try to recover the debt. -An option available is a Charging Order. This means that if the debtor fails to stick to the terms of the CCJ the creditor can apply to secure the debt against the debtor's home. This is similar in nature to adding an extra mortgage to the property. -Under a Charging Order, any outstanding debt is repaid when the house is eventually sold. Creditors cannot force the sale of a property known as a 'sale order' unless they obtain the agreement of a judge. -This development reinforces the importance of not ignoring tax arrears or other debts when they fall due. Wilson Field Ltd is one of the country's premier business turnaround and insolvency specialists. It provides complete business recovery, insolvency and personal debt solutions to businesses and individuals across the UK. The company has offices in Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, and the West Midlands, with a further five offices planned to open during 2013. To speak to an expert from Wilson Field's free advice line call 0800 458 3320 or visit www.wilsonfield.co.uk.

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