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HMRC sending nudge letters, says law firm

HMRC is reportedly using more reminders in order to bypass the traditional process of resolving disputes. City law company RPC says that the idea is to pressure people who are currently part of a resolution process.

Taxpayers are receiving the letters directly. However, the typical process would see HMRC send a letter to the taxpayer’s accountant or lawyer representing them.

Adam Craggs, head and partner of the tax disputes department for RPC, said that HMRC’s strategy is to pressure taxpayers so that they give in and settle.

RPC said that such a tactic in other areas of litigation would be viewed as undue pressure. However, the firm added that the letter, which could be viewed as correspondence designed to intimidate, is not unusual. He said:

“They are sending letters about often highly complex issues to individuals who do not have technical knowledge of tax issues. Not only is this a tactic designed to pressurise taxpayers into settling their dispute, it also demonstrates just how far HMRC is prepared to go in its attempt to persuade taxpayers not to pursue their dispute.”

A spokesman for HMRC said that those who are considered to be avoiding tax payments won’t always have been notified of any risks that come with such arrangements.

HMRC has been piling on the pressure on both individuals and businesses in recent years. Individuals may be an easier target for the tax body, but businesses certainly come under the radar also. Firms would do well to ensure that they have an accountant in the Wirral to handle their affairs in order to protect themselves against HMRC’s latest measures.

Posted by Peter
October 1, 2015
HMRC

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