HMRC have confirmed that they will be employing the services of four debt collection agencies over the coming year as part of their programme to recover £140 million of debt from both companies and individuals.
This is something which has been considered by Revenue and Customs for some time now. They eventually piloted the project and have branded this pilot “successful”. As such they have gone ahead and signed up with four debt collection agencies. These are iQor Recovery Services, Fairfax Solicitors Ltd, Credit Solutions Ltd and Commercial Collection Services Ltd. They have all been described by HMRC as ‘modernising debt collection’. These agencies, while working on the HMRC contracts, will be operating under “industry and HMRC standards”. There have, however, been concerns that these four collection agencies will not operate by these same standards since they are only applicable to HMRC and not their contracted agencies. Most concerns were raised by accountants and referred to such issues as the security of the debtor’s personal information once passed over to the collection agencies.
The four agencies will be charged with collecting the lower value debts which are currently owed to HMRC. Debtors will receive a letter from HMRC with a final opportunity to settle the debt before it is passed over.
HMRC’s director of debt management and banking commented: “Some businesses and individuals are not in a position to pay what they owe and we have put procedures in place to help those who are genuinely struggling. But those who simply refuse to pay have to be pursued, and our partnership with the debt collection agencies ensures they will be.”