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Tax Robin
Tax Robin, Tax Preparer
Category: UK Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15590
Experience:  15 years experience with H & R Block in International Tax Law
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Hi, my friend has been investigated over the last 2 years for

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Hi, my friend has been investigated over the last 2 years for not paying the correct tax from his garage business 2003-2011. He is now 74 years old, has sold the garage to pay off any depts. and is now employed 3 days a week on minimum wage. During the 2 year investigation the tax office have been extremely forceful when asking for information and have even required him to give details of both his wife's and mothers (who recently passed away) bank accounts. There have been 2 face to face meetings to explain account information where he was told if he did not have receipts for items in and out of his account then they would add to what he owes. The end result is the Tax office saying Tony owes £65,000 including £15,000 penalties for not providing information at the start of the investigation ( he admits to initially avoiding the problem as collating the history was a big job). Concluding the investigation Tony was given 1 month to pay £65,000 and was not offered any form of payment plan. Tony has disputed the amount owed and this is being reinvestigated (there is no way a small garage business has earned enough to pay £50,000 tax over 8 years. My question is when the final figure is reached what can the tax office do to reclaim the amount owed? Tony is married but all the belongings and house are in his wife's name and have been for 24 Years (just the way it has always been). Tony's wife is concerned they will take her house as Tony has contributed to utilities, food etc but has never paid the mortgage or rates. His wife's income has fully covered this and has been proved to. Where is this information found on the HMRS website. Thank you
Hello and thank you for posting your question.
Your friend has really had a difficult time. It is always worse when a problem is not dealt with timely.

"My question is when the final figure is reached what can the tax office do to reclaim the amount owed?"
The HMRC has a number of options on what they are allowed to do to force collections. They can refer the debt to a collection agency, they can take your belongings to auction, they can start bankruptcy action.

"Where is this information found on the HMRS website."

The main reason your friend has such a high amount is the interest. If he has sent an appeal to HMRC, he can apply to postpone paying the amount of tax he thinks he is being overcharged as a result of the decision.
To apply to postpone the tax payment he will need to write to HMRC at the address shown on the decision letter and tell them:
why he thinks the amount he (or your business) has been asked to pay is too much, and by how much
what amount he proposes to pay while his appeal is being settled

HMRC will write to him and tell him whether or not they agree with postponing the tax payment due or they may suggest an alternative amount should be postponed. If they don't agree he can ask the tribunal to decide the matter.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX has sought assistance from a professional.
The professional may be better able to show that your friend wants to pay but does not have the ability to pay all at once. This does make a difference and would allow him to pay with installments.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help so far. I also asked if the tax office could take part of the house if it has always (past 24 years) been in his wives name and has been paid for by his wife.

I am reluctant to simply advice that no, HMRC cannot do anything to the spouse's property. HMRC may only distrain against goods wholly owned by the debtor. So if they do not own the property and have never owned it in any portion I would suggest that your friend make sure the proof of nonownership has been submitted.
You said HMRC requested all that info already.
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