Notice Warning of Enforcement by Distraint Letter from HMRC

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Updated: 28th June 2021

What does a Notice Warning of Enforcement by Distraint letter from HMRC mean?


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You must make payment in full by. If you do not, I will start distraint action against you. This means that I will seize your possessions and later arrange to have them sold at public auction. The proceeds from the sale will be set against the debt and the costs of the action.

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HMRC Distraint Warning 


If you have received a Notice Warning of Enforcement by Distraint letter from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), you are clearly very late paying taxes. This indicates that either you made arrangements (such as offers to pay in instalments) and didn’t maintain this or simply failed to communicate with HMRC. The situation has now escalated and from here, you only have five days to reach an agreement or HMRC will take matters further and an enforcement officer will soon be visiting your business premises.

It is highly advisable that you try to make some sort of payment if you can, to possibly allow more breathing space, but it can often depend on the specific HMRC officer who you are dealing with and how generous they are feeling. As you can imagine, they deal with many late tax payers and will have come across all possible excuses and pleads for more time to pay. Therefore, they may simply give you short shrift and refuse to be reasonable. At Real Business Rescue we have a long history of expertise in liaising directly with HMRC and helping to reach a more attainable agreement for companies with tax payment issues. Contact us today for a free consultation and we can ascertain how to take things further.

One thing’s for sure, there is no legal requirement to let anyone from the tax office or a debt collection agency into your home or premises on the back of a distraint warning – the only way they can enter is with a court authorisation in the form of a warrant. At this stage, they can enter into your property and remove items which will be sold to clear your debt.

Ultimately, if you cannot come to an agreement with HMRC to repay what you owe over a mutually agreed period of time, you could find yourself facing bankruptcy proceedings.


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