Debt collectors to bring in £1.5bn for HMRC

HMRC PLANS to bring in an extra £1.5bn of unpaid tax through the use of debt collectors.

The scheme, which is thought to be worth up to £70m for the collection firms, will target people who owe small amounts as well as larger outstanding debts, the Daily Mail has reported.

The move would mark a tenfold increase in the amount HMRC is currently obtaining through debt collectors.

The HMRC’s pilot scheme last year targeted taxpayers who owed more than £10,000 through self-assessment, as well as those who had PAYE debts of up to £500 prior to 2007 and National Insurance bills of up to £700.

A spokesman for HMRC said: “Using debt collectors allows our own staff to focus on higher risk and more complex debts.

“Anyone thinking they can safely sit things out and get away with not paying what they owe to fund the UK’s vital public services would be making a serious mistake.”

Elaine Clarke, managing director of Cheap Accounting, warned that vulnerable people, such as those on benefits or the elderly, are among those most likely to have uncollected debt.


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