Rex W. and Son., London
“I have been contractor since 2005 since being made redundant. Considering the lack of employment opportunities for people aged over 50, I managed to get myself out of debt and get back on my feet.
I was presented with an opportunity to work through what I thought was a legitimate umbrella company which managed all legal and accounting duties for a fee. I signed up and never gave it a moment’s thought.
Many years later, I received an enquiry into my tax affairs for a particular year and at once I investigated the whole set-up and changed my practices to working through a Limited Company. It is standard practice now that one has to work through a Ltd Company or there is no work, as companies (and public sector clients) will not use your services.
Since the threatening letters from HMRC starting coming over three years’ ago, I am now divorced and the family home has been sold. I have been advised not to purchase another house as it will be taken by HMRC, so I have the proceeds sitting in the bank whilst I live in rented accommodation, paying maintenance for my ex-wife and children.
The APNs I am told will be coming my way are far more than I have left from the sale of the family house, so there is no possibility of me paying them off.
There is no point in time-to-pay arrangements for me as it would be impossible for me to pay off that amount in my lifetime. Now HMRC have managed to get a particularly pernicious, unconstitutional, retrospective piece of legislation through Parliament stating that whether I go to court or not, I will be required to pay even more than previously thought. Even if a court were to decide that the tax planning was legitimate, I will have to pay, regardless of what a court decides.
Added to this, HMRC are effectively destroying the UK contractor market in the public sector and I have been informed that this will spread to the private sector. This means the end of my working life as I will by then be over 60 with only a very remote possibility of gaining permanent employment.
I asked HMRC if I could settle my tax affairs and I was sent a letter six months later stating “I am unable to comment on whether a settlement opportunity is available for you, however, I would advise you that the terms may change on a daily basis and it is not guaranteed that we will agree to any settlement with you at this time”.
As far as I can see, HMRC want to make me bankrupt and force another Government department to provide social housing and benefits for both myself and my ex-wife and child.
How can HMRC reach settlement with Google and yet they won’t settle with me, effectively forcing me into bankruptcy?
This is so shocking to me and so stressful for my child who has been told that HMRC’s debt collectors will take everything including his toys. Where is the humanity in this? We would be treated better if I was a hardened criminal.
I now have no choice other than to spend my remaining funds fighting this all the way, leaving even less for HMRC than they are going to get now.
I don’t expect sympathy but I did at least expect some form of humanity from the UK Government. I don’t expect to get it.“