On 30th June 2021 HMRC released a policy paper entitled “Collecting tax debts as we emerge from Coronavirus.” 

The policy document confirms that protecting livelihoods and keeping people at work remains the Government’s priority. HMRC has played a central role in delivering this: by pausing many of its debt collection activities and delivering support packages such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme. 

As the UK emerges from the pandemic and economic activity resumes, HMRC is restarting its debt collection work. This means it will begin contacting customers who have fallen behind with their taxes during the pandemic. 


HMRC sends a clear message to people: 

“If you can pay your taxes then you should do so – but if you`re struggling, we want to work with you to agree on a plan based on your financial position. 

It is vital we continue our debt collection work, not only to bring the money in that funds public services like schools and the NHS, but also to support economic recovery and growth. 

We will do everything we can to help businesses with temporary cash-flow issues to survive as the economy grows. But where businesses have little chance of recovery, we do have a responsibility to act – not least to protect their competitors and viable businesses in their supply chain. It is in no one’s interest to simply allow unsustainable debt to build up unchecked.”


From September 2021 where customers are unwilling to discuss a payment plan or ignore HMRC’s attempts to contact them, HMRC may start the process of collecting the debt using its enforcement powers. 

HMRC’s powers include: 

  • taking control of goods
  • summary warrants 
  • court action including insolvency proceedings


How Beeston Shenton Can Help

We have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in debt recovery steps to aid your business.

We provide a considered approach to speed up debt recovery collections whilst minimising customer conflict and reducing the risk to your business.  

Our service is tailored to match the individual needs of your business and we pride ourselves in offering bespoke, cost-effective solutions to your debt recovery needs – from simply chasing late payers to legal proceedings including all county court and insolvency processes.  

We are totally dedicated to helping our clients improve cash flow and increase the profitability of their businesses and we use the latest in Debt Recovery software enabling us to process both pre-legal and legal collections promptly and efficiently.


About the author

Iain Bould is the head of our Commercial Litigation department.

Iain has over 28 years of experience in Commercial Debt Recovery having worked in both Private Practice and Industry and brings a pragmatic and commercial approach to recovering debts. With extensive experience working across all industry sectors, Iain has particular expertise in working with Insolvency Practitioners in advising and recovering outstanding insolvent company ledgers.

If you need any advice or further information please contact Iain at iain.bould@beestonshenton.co.uk