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Jacky202

HMRC debt help please

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Hi,

 

I've just received a letter from HMRC Inland Revenue regarding my debt to them for £420 for self-employment self-assessment tax. The debt is from January 2009.

 

They have sent a very threatening letter, and I know from the research I've done that they have the power to act on it! I'm sorry to say I had stuck my head in the sand on this one. I've been having debt problems manifesting to a huge degree since Dec 08 and I've been in touch with my other creditors to attempt to put them off but not HMRC. They've been sending me statements but I didn't think they were about to launch into the threatening letter stage, so I thought I had more time. But I guess there's only so far they're going to go.

 

I have put a letter together explaining my circumstances (a couple of months ago I didn't have enough money for rent or even to eat - things have improved a little since, but still very shakey) and I've just paid them £35 towards my bill of £420 so they know I'm serious. And I would like to give them a payment plan of what I think I can afford, but I think it's probably only £40/mth. And in January 2010 of course I'll have another bill from them... To clear my debt to them by Jan I'd need to pay about £84/mth. My work is coming in in dribs and drabs at the moment because of the recession. I am paying my rent and phone bill and just having enough to eat, but I realise that somehow I have to agree to paying this tax bill off monthly.

 

So my questions here are:

 

1) Will they be likely to accept a low offer for a payment plan, or will they stick to their guns and demand I pay the full amount (particularly before Jan 2010)?

 

2) I don't own property, but my boyfriend owns the house we live in (I pay him 'rent' towards the mortgage). I just want to double check they have no hold over the house.

 

3) Do you have any advice re the letter I should write to them? As I say, I've got a draft explaining my circumstances, and I intend to add in a personal budget sheet. Plus I want to give them a payment plan that I can stick to. Is this all right? Am I missing anything? Got any example letters?

 

4) They have asked me to *call* them. I do not want to do this because I get very intimidated on the phone and don't get out of the conversation what I need - and agree to things I can't afford. Also, I want a full record of our conversation. But will they allow time for a letter? I know from past experience that they can take sometimes a few months to actually take action on letters sent to them!! Last time I had to write to them (about a year ago) regarding an error in my account they didn't reply. I called them 6weeks later and they said there was a massive delay so my letter hadn't even been recorded on their files. Eventually after about another 6weeks they responded! I can't risk this happening again given the urgency of the matter. I don't want to end up with bailiffs on my doorstep. Will I have to call them?

 

OK thanks for any help you can send my way! It is so gratefully received.

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Hi Jackie, i dont have all the answers that you are looking for, i have some experience with HMRC, it is better that you are showing that you aer paying what you can, and make sure that you have proof of payment and send all correspondence by recorded delivery. Also if you could get someone such as an accountant to find out if you do in fact owe as much tax as they claim.

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Hi Blueda,

 

Thanks so much for your reply. Sounds like I'm along the right lines then. I signed up for their online bill payment system and this apparently then shows on my account when I pay - so got the paper trail.

 

The amount I'm pretty sure is correct, and really it's only small. I'm as sure as I can be without employing an accountant, which I can't afford. I would like an accountant to check my books as I do them myself, but to get a good one costs. So I'd likely be having to pay an account this £400 rather than the tax man. But good point though :)

 

Thanks again x

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The online payment method is the best way.

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Hi,

 

I can't really answer your question either, but think in the current climate, they will be willing to take reduced payments.

 

I'm self-employed and have had many battles with them, though, now they seem to come and go a bit.

 

Hope you get it sorted.

 

Regards.

 

Scott.


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

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The online payment method is the best way.

Great! That's very good to hear :) Thanks x

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think in the current climate, they will be willing to take reduced payments.

That would be very good - because it's all i've got! ;)

 

I'm self-employed and have had many battles with them, though, now they seem to come and go a bit.

Ohh interesting. I've not had a battle with them before so I'm not familiar with their tactics. Got any pointers?

And did you communicate via letter each time to ensure it's all recorded?

 

Thanks for your reply, Scott! Much appreciated x

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Hi Jacky

 

The most important thing is to get in touch. They are far easier to deal with at the moment partly because of the current climate and I suspect partly because they have been told to be reasonable.

 

Next you need to realise that if you phone and you are polite and honest I do believe that you will be surprised at the response. If you can only afford £40 p month at present tell them that this is all you can afford. If they ask for more say that you would rather offer a figure you can pay than let them down and if you can afford more one month you will pay extra. I believe that they will accept but if not ask that they agree for 3 months and you will review it then but I doubt it will come to that.

 

Finally, if they agree as I am sure that they will make sure you pay when you say that you will and do not pay late or try and miss a month because you think you have got away with it. Stick to what I suggest and I believe that your problem will be solved.

 

Please let us know how you get on, perhaps we have answers about your other debts.

 

Pedross

Edited by pedross
  • Haha 1

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The most important thing is to get in touch. They are far easier to deal with at the moment partly because of the current climate and I suspect partly because they have been told to be reasonable.

 

That is reassuring to hear. I hadn't realised before posting about this tonight that this was the case!

 

Next you need to realise that if you phone and you are polite and honest I do believe that you will be surprised at the response.

Lol I'm polite and honest, but I get scared easily, and then I don't stick to my guns when they try to bend me a little. In a letter there's no room for bending - I can be polite and honest but say it like it is.

 

If you can only afford £40 p month at present tell them that this is all you can afford. If they ask for more say that you would rather offer a figure you can pay than let them down and if you can afford more one month you will pay extra. I believe that they will accept but if not ask that they agree for 3 months and you will review it then but I doubt it will come to that.

That all sounds great. Thanks! And great wording too!

 

Finally, if they agree as I am sure that they will make sure you pay when you say that you will and do not pay late or try and miss a month because you think you have got away with it. Stick to what I suggest and I believe that you problem will be solved.

 

Wonderful, thank you. I will do this. Much appreciate your help x

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And did you communicate via letter each time to ensure it's all recorded?

 

 

I used to go into their office and speak to them face to face, some good, some bad, some totally out of order.

 

I remember I was at a Football match in Motherwell and noticed this guy, a Hearts supporter, like myself.

 

For some reason, I really did not like the guy, but could not work out why.

A couple of days later, I remembered it was a guy from the Tax Office and he had spoken to me as if I had just stolen his jelly babies :p


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

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I used to go into their office and speak to them face to face, some good, some bad, some totally out of order.

 

I remember I was at a Football match in Motherwell and noticed this guy, a Hearts supporter, like myself.

 

For some reason, I really did not like the guy, but could not work out why.

Acouple of days later, I remembered it was a guy from the Tax Office and he had spoken to me as if I had just stolen his jelly babies :p

 

 

I can't resist:

 

Well you do support Hearts!

 

Pedross:)

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I have been in exactly the same position,

 

I wrote a letter with a payment proposal with a copy of my average i and e and the accepted it with no problems, they were actually quite helpful.

 

Ida x


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I have been in exactly the same position,

 

I wrote a letter with a payment proposal with a copy of my average i and e and the accepted it with no problems, they were actually quite helpful.

 

Ida x

Thank you so much, Ida! That's reassuring to hear :) Apologies for not replying until now, I didn't see your response.

 

Many thanks x

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I've received a letter today from HMRC stating that I've failed to respond to their request for payment. I sent them the letter explaining my financial circumstances but they haven't received it (I need to dig out the receipt as I sent it recorded....)

 

The letter said that if I don't reply in 48 hrs of receiving the letter then they will make arrangements for someone to come to my house and list my contents and sell to auction to recover the debt...

 

So I called them, said about the letter I'd sent offering a payment plan of what I can afford and they said this was *too low*! I have offered them £30/mth. They said I can keep paying that amount but they will have to continue action against me unless I agree to £77/mth for the next 5months (i.e. until my next self-employed amount in January will be required).

 

They said they particularly won't accept my £30/mth because I have a bad payment history with them - i.e. always paid late. And these past late payments aren't related to the current economic climate...

 

So basically it's pay the higher monthly amount or I'm screwed :

 

Please help asap as I need to call them back to agree something.

Could Citizen's Advice Bureau change their minds at all?

 

Thank you x :(

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OK well I've just been on the phone to CAB and Payplan and neither can help with the inland revenue situation! CAB have no appointments until Sept so referred me straight to Payplan or CCCS.

 

Payplan apparently aren't able to deal with priority debts. They said I have two choices, either keep telling them I can only afford £30/mth and hope they listen or borrow the money from somewhere and pay the amount they're insisting on (£77/mth)!

 

Is this really all I can do? I don't want to risk them coming to the house and wanting to itemise everything because I don't want to lose my car! And I don't want my boyfriend's things to be at risk! I can pay them over time and my situation is improving, but I just can't pay what they're asking yet. I'm feeling extremely pressured to just say 'OK I'll pay it' but I know that's a promise I can't keep...

 

Help! :(

Thanks x

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Hi Jacky

 

Sorry my plan did not work but your past payment record is the reason. In my opinion now that Plan A has failed and we do not have a Plan B you would be better off trying to make the £77 payments. If you really cannot do that pay them a regular payment every month at the same time to prove that you are making an effort to pay.

 

The difference between what you want to pay and what they want you to pay is about £10 per week. Think of the things that you are spending money on currently, costing £10 per week, which are not essential and stop them for the next 5 months.

 

With regards to items belonging to your boyfriend they would not be able to touch those only items belonging to you.

 

If you have not been paying start paying it will help if they can see that you are not just playing for time.

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Sorry my plan did not work but your past payment record is the reason.

Not your fault at all. It took me by surprise when the woman from the inland revenue said this on the phone. Ok I haven't paid on time in the past but they haven't ever sent demands like this before. I guess that doesn't make any difference though - if it's late it's late.

 

In my opinion now that Plan A has failed and we do not have a Plan B you would be better off trying to make the £77 payments. If you really cannot do that pay them a regular payment every month at the same time to prove that you are making an effort to pay.

 

The difference between what you want to pay and what they want you to pay is about £10 per week. Think of the things that you are spending money on currently, costing £10 per week, which are not essential and stop them for the next 5 months.

 

Thanks for breaking it down like this. I hadn't thought of that. At the moment I don't have any non essential payments, so I'm just going to have to try and drum up an extra £10/wk business...

My only other option is to agree to pay the lump sum by end of December (which is their aim to clear the debt by then). I have a job I'm working on now that will pay in 2months that *should* in theory cover this bill. However, that's banking on no other financial hiccups in the meantime and my other work coming in and paying as they should (which is a gamble).

 

With regards to items belonging to your boyfriend they would not be able to touch those only items belonging to you.

That is good to know.

 

If you have not been paying start paying it will help if they can see that you are not just playing for time.

I have started paying, but they're simply not interested :( I'm really surprised at that and also that no company (CAB, CCCS or Payplan) are able to help liaise etc. They won't touch the situation and basically have told me I'm on my own! I have one last option and that's something called Business Debtline. I tried to call them as soon as I heard about them but they were constantly engaged - it was 4.30pm by then so I guess everyone was trying to catch them. Will try again tomorrow just to see what they say.

 

You know what's ironic? I spent *all* afternoon trying to sort out this situation when I could've been earning about £50 towards paying off the debt :( But the upside is that I now have Payplan starting to work with me regarding my other credits (anything non-priority) which I'm hoping will help ease pressure there.

 

Thanks for your advice. It wasn't your fault at all that it couldn't be followed in this case. I imagine they're looking out for something to trip me up with, and I gave them an excuse on a plate.

 

Oh and I checked and the letter I sent them about my financial circumstances *DID* arrive! I sent it recorded and it's marked as received on the tracking service!!! Nice!

 

Thanks x

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You know what's ironic? I spent *all* afternoon trying to sort out this situation when I could've been earning about £50 towards paying off the debt :( But the upside is that I now have Payplan starting to work with me regarding my other credits (anything non-priority) which I'm hoping will help ease pressure there.

 

Thanks x

 

You have hit the nail on the head with that comment.

 

Its best to just get on with trying to earn money rather than sit worrying about why you can't pay the bills. That way you will soon get on top and that applies to all of us.

 

Regards

Pedross

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You have hit the nail on the head with that comment.

 

Its best to just get on with trying to earn money rather than sit worrying about why you can't pay the bills. That way you will soon get on top and that applies to all of us.

 

Lol I know what you mean but in this instance I was spending the hours trying to get in touch with the tax office (being on hold forever then being cut off :-o) and talking to the CAB, CCCS and Payplan and getting action set up with Payplan for dealing with my other creditors. But yes an hour or so was spent just worrying, because I couldn't get through to anyone by phone because it was lunch time. All in all I spent 4 or 5 hours on all this yesterday.

 

I agree totally - just worrying about the situation is a waste of valuable time when we could be earning. Totally agree with that and that's a trap very easy to fall into - as I know ;) But my point is that it takes *so* long to make progress with trying to clear up the mess - trying to phone people, research how best to approach the creditors, learn the rules, and then write letters, go to post office, etc etc. It all takes time that could be spent earning money. And just so they can run you round and round in circles, having to argue every point - agh! Lol that's my rant on the subject. I guess it would have been much simpler to have somehow worked out how to pay my bills in the first place... or to have not got into debt, but you live and learn eh!

 

Thanks though - I do know what you mean! :) x

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I think I'm going to call the tax office today and ask that they agree I will pay the amount in full by the end of December, but to please not insist on the £77/mth plan because my work is very up and down. For example I have no money spare right now, but in two months when I'm paid for this job I ought to have enough money to clear most of the debt. Wonder if they'll go for that! I actually doubt it, but it's worth a try.

Wish me luck trying to get through to them! x

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Hi again Jacky, how did you get on ?.

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