0800 644 6080
Call FREE from Landline and Mobile
Est. 1989

HMRC Spending on Private Debt Collectors Up Fourfold Since 2014

Written by: Keith Tully

Published: 29th April 2019

HMRC Spending on Private Debt Collectors Since 2014HMRC has significantly increased the scale of money it pays to private debt collectors in pursuit of unpaid taxes over the past several years.

That’s according to the findings of research looking into the allocation of HMRC funds by the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young.

The figures suggest that HMRC spent as much as £26.3 million on hiring the services of private debt collectors over the course of 2018.

That number represents more than a fourfold increase on the £6.2 million spent by the Revenue on those same services over the course of 2014.

In total, HMRC is understood to have shelled out in the region of £140 million on hiring private debt collectors since 2011, with the data behind those numbers being taken from the organisation’s own records of departmental spending.

The Revenue has been allowed to pay for private debt collector services for the past 10 years but UHY Hacker Young says that the data on outlays during 2009 and 2010 is incomplete.

The accountancy firm takes the view that HMRC has been ramping up its efforts to proactively pursue unpaid tax amounts in recent years under pressure from the Treasury.

That pressure is believed to have encouraged representatives of HMRC to adopt an “increasingly aggressive approach” to their pursuit of unpaid taxes.

Mark Giddens, head of private client services at UHY Hacker Young, says that HMRC should only use third party private debt collectors as a “last resort”.

“The majority of taxpayers who owe tax are in that situation because they simply can’t afford to pay,” Mr Giddens says.

“Workable debt restructuring options are more effective than relentless pressure from debt collectors,” he added.

Speaking in response to the release of the latest data on the subject, a spokesperson for HMRC said: “We sometimes use debt collection agencies (DCAs) to add to our capacity reclaiming debt, but we do not use private sector bailiffs.

“Our advice to anyone struggling with debt to get in touch so we can help them. HMRC is committed to providing extra support for vulnerable customers, including debtors.”

Keith Tully

Keith Tully

Join Keith Tully on Linked In Follow Keith Tully on Twitter

Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

Meet our Team of Experts
Director Support - Business suffering from Cash-Flow Problems?
If your company is financially distressed, we also offer the below services:
Business debt recovery

  • Recover Unpaid Invoices of £5k+
  • Expert Credit Control Services
  • Stop Late Payers & Bad Debts
Visit Site
Time to pay experts

  • Get Breathing Space with HMRC
  • Support with Business Tax Arrears
  • 35 Years HMRC Negotiation
Visit Site
UK Business Finance

  • Rejected for a CBILS Loan?
  • Get Emergency Business Funding
  • Supporting 1000+ UK Companies
Visit Site
Who we help
  • Company Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Sole Traders
  • Accountants
  • Small Businesses
  • Large Businesses
  • Partnerships
Contact our team
Jonathan Munnery
Gillian Sayburn
Julie Palmer
or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Business Rescue Advice for Directors
Free Guide for Limited Company Directors
Business Rescue Advice for Directors
  • How to manage company cash flow problems
  • Advice on dealing with HMRC
  • Understanding rescue and closure options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
Business Rescue Guide for Accountants
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
  • Helping you advise insolvent clients
  • Spotting signs of client distress
  • Exploring business rescue options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Our numbers speak for themselves
Number of UK Offices
Directors Helped
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners