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Taxing taxation

HMRC has made forward strides in how they deal with the affairs of vulnerable individuals and advisers have an important role to play

12 February 2016

The approach to the 31 January each year is often a stressful time for private client advisers. Chasing financial institutions and clients for the required information to enable us to complete a client's tax return can be taxing enough for professional, never mind lay individuals.

Spare a thought for those vulnerable individuals who may not have the capacity or time, to consider, complete and lodge their tax return in time with HM Revenue & Customs. HMRC's recent guidance published on 21 December 2015, regarding the direct recovery of debts provides what, in my view, is a sensible solution to cases involving vulnerable individuals.

The guidance highlights the fact that HMRC will adopt an approach of not applying their powers of direct recovery against vulnerable people. In cases where an individual is at a disadvantage, HMRC will consider whether the direct recovery of de...

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