Patrick Sullivan stands up for taxpayers in The Sun

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Parliament Street Chairman, Patrick Sullivan is featured in today’s The Sun newspaper (p11) standing up for put upon taxpayers; following revelations that tax officials have been “bullying” in-debt callers into paying more upfront than they need.

The story can be read online here.


Alternatively, the text of the story can be read below:

Tax officials are ‘bullying’ in-debt callers into paying more upfront than they need

We reveal the deliberately misleading tactics HMRC staff have displayed on call centre screens

TAX officials are “bullying” in-debt callers into paying more upfront than they need.

Customers including the self-employed are often bamboozled by the complicated tax system and fall behind.

Under a deliberately misleading policy, officials refuse to mention the minimum amount they would accept to set up instalment plans for outstanding tax bills.

Instead they suggest sums that might be more than the hard-up caller can afford.

“All staff should be instructed to give honest advice in the best interests of the taxpayer.”

John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “A twisted and complicated tax system means people sometimes fail to make payments, especially the self-employed. Staff must not force people into doing something they don’t need to.”

The tactics, understood to have been introduced last month, are displayed on call centre screens.

A report in December rapped tax bosses for failing to consider if taxpayers were treated fairly.

HMRC said: “We are supportive to taxpayers with debts, especially vulnerable customers, and continuously review guidance.”

The taxman has also been grilled as callers to its helpline waited five million hours to be put through.

Last year, a man was conned out of £1k after scammers posed as HMRC tax collectors and demanded iTunes vouchers.

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