Taxing Matters: HMRC ramps up use of Account Freezing and Forfeiture orders

Published on 03 August 2020

Welcome to the second episode of our Taxing Matters podcast. In this series we review land-mark cases and key tax developments and discuss the commercial impact they could have on your business.

Earlier this year, RPC asked HMRC how many bank accounts had been frozen under the power introduced in January 2018 to freeze bank accounts and then forfeit their contents. HMRC's answer confirmed that while everyone’s attention was focused elsewhere, they had steadily increased their use of this draconian power with an increase of 177% in respect of Account Freezing Orders in the 2019/20 year from the previous year, and the number of forfeiture applications had increased fourfold from the previous year.  

In this episode Taxing Matters host, Alice Kemp, talks to RPC tax disputes partner, Michelle Sloane, about:

  • the rise in the use of Account Freezing Orders (AFOs) and Account Forfeiture Notices (AFNs);
  • how the application process works and what options there are to resist AFOs and AFNs;
  • why HMRC’s use of this power has increased so dramatically;
  • what to do if your business is affected by an AFO or AFN;
  • Michelle’s predictions for HMRC’s use of this power in the future.

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All information is correct at the time of recording. Taxing Matters is not a substitute for legal advice.