Now taxman can grab £17k straight from your salary: HMRC denounced for setting ‘a new high in state intrusion’

 In Power
  • HM Revenue & Customs will be able to take up to £17,000 from pay packets
  • It can currently take £3,000 but that limit will increase in April under changes
  • Limit will be be earnings-related and gradually increase depending on salary

The taxman has been accused of trying to become ‘all-powerful’ after vastly increasing the amount that can be taken from salaries.

HM Revenue & Customs will be able to take up to £17,000 from pay packets – compared to the current limit of £3,000.

From April tax codes will be altered for those believed to have underpaid income tax, capital gains tax or National Insurance contributions.

The latest power grab follows outrage over proposals by the Treasury to raid bank accounts for unpaid taxes without gaining permission from the courts.

Such measures have been called ‘draconian and regressive’ by industry bodies, while others have accused HMRC of acting as ‘judge, jury and executioner’.

Yesterday Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said: ‘This is another creeping of HMRC’s powers, which are skewed in favour of themselves and away from the taxpayers. HMRC is becoming a more confrontational and all-powerful organisation.’

HMRC, headed by Lin Homer, has had the power to seize cash wages since 1944 and the taxman insists any money taken would be spread out over 12 monthly instalments.

But accountancy firm Kingston Smith said raising the cap could be seen as ‘a new high in the intrusion of the state into private affairs’.

Tax partner Tim Stovold said: ‘These so far overlooked new rules are a continuation of powers being given to HMRC to collect amounts owing to them and will come as a nasty surprise to many.’

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