By Lyndsey Hall
Have you been overpaid tax credits? You could soon be visited by private debt collectors, hired by the Revenue to recover money paid into people’s accounts in error.
According to an investigation by False Economy, HMRC has hired twelve third party debt collectors to call, text and write to millions of UK taxpayers who have been overpaid tax credits. It is believed that in some cases they have even visited recipients at home.
There are reportedly around 4.7 million outstanding cases of tax credit overpayments. The government is hoping to recoup the £1.6billion of overpayments and bring down the benefits bill.
Many of the effected have been overpaid through no fault of their own, and cannot afford to give back the total amount owed immediately. In more than eighty cases, debtors’ assets were seized in order to pay back the Revenue.
HMRC admitted using debt collectors since 2009, but said that they have only been used to recover overpaid tax credits since 2013.
What do you think of HMRC’s debt collection methods? Let us know in the Comments.
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