The Finance Bill currently in Parliament will authorise HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with the right to seize money directly from the bank accounts of taxpayers who have failed to pay their taxes.
Under the rules, HMRC will be able to take money, but must leave the taxpayer with a minimum of £5,000 in their bank or building society accounts, and can only remove money from accounts containing a minimum £5,000. HMRC will be able to exercise ‘direct enforcement’ to collect tax debts of more than £1,000. It is estimated that this will generate about £100 million a year for the Treasury.
The changes do give the taxpayer the right to object to the County Court, although this may be of little use after the money has been seized.