HMRC ‘sorry’ for Terminally ill Pensioner’s Debt Collectors threat

debt collectors in Liverpool instructed on 30,000 debts

A pensioner who is terminally ill has been threatened with debt collectors by HMRC, after he didn’t receive confirmation that he had paid the correct tax bill.

HMRC has been accused of threatening a terminally ill 92 year old man with debt collectors. A reader of The Guardian newspaper wrote in to share that “he is 92 and doesn’t actually owe the money, but there is nothing he can do to stop the tax demands coming”.

The reader, identified as JP, explained: “HMRC has threatened my terminally ill 92-year-old father with debt collectors over an erroneous tax bill, 38 times what he actually owed. The problem began when, due to visual impairment, he entered the tax paid on his pension in the wrong box on his 2022-23 tax return.

“He is required to submit a return each year due to a small pension he received from five years working in Spain. An HMRC agent confirmed over the phone that the tax due is, in fact, £126 and he duly paid on time. However, he received no written confirmation and, since November, all further attempts to communicate with HMRC to correct the error have been ignored, resulting in him becoming locked into a series of auto-generated letters asking him to pay over £4,800 and warning it is accumulating interest.”

“This has caused huge distress.”

Debt Collectors threat to be apologised for

In response, the government tax department stated: “We’re writing to the customer to apologise profusely, and confirm that the debt on his record has been cancelled. We are sending him a redress payment for the distress caused.”, reports Birmingham Live.

Typically, you have a 30-day window from the date your penalty was issued to lodge an appeal. If this deadline is missed, you must provide a valid reason for the delay, allowing HMRC to determine whether to consider your appeal.

If HMRC maintains their decision and you continue to disagree, a review will be offered.

You have the right to challenge a penalty imposed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), such as those for inaccurate returns, late submission of tax returns, delayed tax payments, or inadequate record-keeping.


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