BHP raps taxman on debt collectors

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The taxman has come under fire from Sheffield-based independent accountants Barber Harrison & Platt for calling in debt collectors before tax payers have even received a bill.

It says many taxpayers have recently received “unpleasantly worded letters” from HM Revenue and Customs’ debt collection department which, in many instances, arrive before any other communication or payslip advising that the tax liability is due.

Elaine Skelton, head of personal tax at Barber Harrison & Platt, said: “This is causing taxpayers a great deal of worry.

“It is our experience that the vast majority of individuals would pay upon receipt of a simple reminder and payslip. However, HMRC do not seem to be giving taxpayers the chance to make a payment in the usual way.”

Ms Skelton is urging anyone who receives such a letter to contact their accountant immediately to avoid being hit by interest and other charges.