The Revenue waters down plans to raid bank accounts

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The Chancellor has announced a series of safeguards to protect innocent people from having their bank accounts raided by HMRC.

We understand that tax inspectors will have to give people face-to-face warnings before raiding their bank accounts after well watered down controversial plans to claw back money owed to the Exchequer.

The plans to give HM Revenue and Customs “direct recovery powers” to take money out of accounts met with a furious reaction earlier this year amid concerns that thousands of innocent people faced having money withdrawn from their banks.

The Chancellor has now agreed to impose a number of safeguards which the Treasury said would ensure that the measure “only catches those who are playing the system”.

As well as face-to-face meetings, debtors will now be given the right to appeal to HMRC and, if that is not successful, through the county courts.

HMRC have also indicated that they will also set up a specialist unit to deal with cases involving vulnerable members of society and will set up a helpline.

Sue Stephens