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HMRC Debt Recovery & Northern Ireland Businesses

Northern Ireland Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has met with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to discuss matters of outstanding tax and debt recovery

Mr Wilson has recently met with the Director of Debt Management and Banking in HMRC after recent correspondence between the Minister and office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Minister has received numerous representations from local businesses, insolvency practitioners and from the legal profession regarding the approach taken by HMRC in seeking to recover outstanding tax liabilities and wanted to clarify the approach taken by HMRC in Northern Ireland.

Sammy Wilson said:

“The meeting with the Director of Debt Management from HMRC was very useful and provided me with the opportunity to express my concern about issues that representatives from the businesses community, insolvency practitioners and the legal profession have raised with me in relation to the recovery of outstanding tax liabilities.

“With the harsh economic situation, the hard stance of the banking sector and so many businesses in turmoil it is important that, I as Finance Minister, explore what steps might be taken to alleviate struggling businesses at this time.”

The issues discussed during the meeting included HMRC’s policy and procedures in relation to debt recovery and its attitude to Northern Ireland as a UK region, the Time to Pay arrangement and developing a closer liaison between officials.

The Minister continued:

“Agreement was reached that there would be a greater channel of communication between my officials and HMRC and that work will continue to assist, where appropriate, the possibility of early warning signs and changes in policy that may impact on businesses within Northern Ireland and that my Department can consider and then take forward.”

“HMRC stated that they remain committed to supporting viable businesses facing temporary financial difficulty. They emphasised that the important thing is for businesses to contact them before payment is due to discuss individual situations so that they can help.”

“With the draft Programme for Government setting out the Executive’s commitment in rebuilding and re-balancing the Northern Ireland economy, it is crucial that we still continue to pursue Northern Ireland’s interests on UK policy which impacts on our local economy.”