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I had previously posted on this subject on the Taking Control of Goods...General Discussion thread a few weeks ago but unfortunately, it would seem from some recent examples that some enforcement agents and local authorities may be "unaware" of the correct position. With regards to VAT it is fair to say that there had been a great deal of confusion as to whether VAT was chargeable to debtors and this was mainly due to delays at HMRC which ultimately lead to formal announcements being made by MoJ just 2 weeks before the regulations took event on 6th April. To confuse matters even further HMRC failed to update their website with the correct information. It is my understanding that the correct information should now be on the HMRC site. The new fee scale that came into effect on 6th April provides than an enforcement agent can charge to the debtor a Compliance fee of £75 (this is charged at the time of sending a Notice of Enforcement) and if payment is not made (or a payment arrangement not agreed within the time period provided on the Notice an Enforcement) a visit can be made to the debtors premises and a "Enforcement fee' of £235 added. Unless the total debt is over £1,500 (in which case the fee of £235 is slightly increased) or goods are actually removed to storage or auctioneers....the fee scale does not provide for any further charges to be applied to the debtor. The correct position with regards to VAT, HPI fees, DVLA fees and credit card transaction fees is as follows in the following post.
Notice of Enforcement and how to calculate ‘7 clear days’. The first point to make here is that approx 70% of all business mail is managed by postal providers such as TNT Mail. Although an envelope may carry a Royal Mail logo this merely means that Royal Mail manage the actual delivery to your door. Under the previous regulations (before 6th April 2014) when enforcing a Liability Order there was no provision for the enforcement company to send an initial letter prior to a personal visit. With the enforcement of an unpaid parking charge notice there was also no specific provision for the enforcement agent to send an initial letter and instead, the regulations merely provided that the enforcement company may send a letter and that if they chose to do so...they could apply a fee of £11.20 (plus vat). Under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2014 the position has changed (as outlined below) but unfortunately there is a great deal of confusion with local authorities and enforcement agents as to how to ‘calculate’ the period of notice. The correct position is outlined below: What is the legal position in the Regulations? When a “time period” is given in any regulations it may be referred to as ‘working days’, ‘days’ or ‘clear days’. Each has it own specific interpretation. The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 specifically provide that a Notice of Enforcement “must be given to the debtor not less that 7 clear days before the enforcement agent takes control of the debtor’s goods”. The statutory regulations confirm that in calculating ‘clear days’ you must exclude Sunday’s, bank holidays, Good Friday or Christmas Day’. Of vital importance is that the regulation also stipulate that the period of '7 clear days' is a ‘minimum period of notice’ (more on this further on). Additionally, when calculating ‘clear days’ the 1st and the last day are known as ‘event days’ and are also excluded. Examples are provided below.