A GREENGROCER says that he has been ‘bullied’ by HMRC, which claims that he owes them nearly £20,000.
Peter Patterson, who runs All Seasons Fruiterers in Lee-on-the-Solent High Street, says he had a knock at the door from HMRC, saying that he owed them £18,500 in corporation tax.
Mr Patterson claims that he showed evidence that the money had been paid, but was informed that he would still have to pay up.
He said: ‘They came up to my door and said I owed £18,000 – and that I had an obligation to set up a repayment plan.
‘I have record of payment and if that has been lost by HMRC then that’s their problem.
‘To be treated like this is absolutely horrifying – it is awful to not only accuse me of lying after I have produced evidence of payment but to force me into a repayment plan that I don’t need to be involved with.
‘I’m absolutely furious about what happened, and have been thinking about it ever since.
‘Even though I know I have paid the money, the man who turned up at my door was so bullish that I have been left doubting myself.
‘The chief executive eventually found out that I didn’t actually owe anything, so that debt never existed – but even then, I never received any sort of apology for the way they treated me.
‘HMRC should not be allowed to get away with something like this – it is an awful practice and we are certainly going to be taking things further.’
But HMRC says that debtor records are always checked prior to visiting, with numerous criteria before an issue reaches the stage of personal enforcement.
A spokesman from HMRC said: ‘We only visit a debtor to collect debts actually due and having made multiple attempts to prompt the debtor to contact us.’