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Can HMRC Take My House?

This is one of the most common questions asked by people who have received a notice of enforcement letter and the simple answer is no.

When a limited company goes into liquidation then it is usual that the director’s home is in their own name. In this case, then it is not possible for HMRC to seize the property to recover the company’s tax debts. The only exception to this is if the property has been bought by the limited company. In this case, HMRC can force the company into liquidation through a firm of liquidators or insolvency practitioners who will then be able to force the sale of the property to settle all creditors including HMRC.

What Rights do HMRC Bailiffs and Enforcement Officers Have?

When a debt is owed to HMRC then they may employ a debt recovery company or a firm of bailiffs to recover the debt (debt collectors). They may also send out one of their own enforcement officers. If the person is employed by HMRC then they will always carry identification. If they are a company employed by HMRC then they will be able to show you a letter authorising them. It is vitally important that you know who visited you so that you can keep a record of their behaviour.

What Are HMRC Bailiff’s Rights?

  1. Can an HMRC bailiff enter my business by force?  – They can only forcibly enter your business premises when they have authorisation from a court.
  2. Can HMRC Forcibly Enter My House? They can only enter your home if is your company’s registered business address.
  3. What Can HMRC Bailiffs Take? – They can only take company assets. They cannot take anything rented, on hire or borrowed so you need to keep ownership details. They cannot take bedding, refrigerators or medical items.
  4. Can HMRC take My Car? – Only if the vehicle is owned by the company. They cannot take personal mobility vehicles.
  5. What happens to what they take?” – The assets will be sold off at auction in order to settle your company’s debts.

Can HMRC Bailiffs Force Entry Into My House?

In most cases the answer is no. They are legally required to send you a letter before arriving at your house. In reality, this may run into a sequence of letters. They can use ‘reasonable force’ if they have been invited into the house on a previous occasion, this could involve using a locksmith to get inside. They can use force to gain entry to a company premises but only if they have authorisation from a court. Make sure you keep residential windows and doors locked as they could find their way in through ‘normal modes’ of entry, through unlocked windows and doors.

If you are you have a debt enforcement letter from HMRC then speak to us before you speak to them, we are tax investigation experts. Call 0800 471 4546 today!

Further Reading:

Can HMRC stop me buying a house?