From April 2012 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will begin charging fixed costs on cases entered into the county court in England and Wales.
Following a consultation exercise which ended on 23 September 2010, changes have been made to the Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) Civil Procedure Rules. A summary of responses was published in January 2011.
From April 2012 if you do not pay HMRC what you owe, and your case is entered into county court in England and Wales; we will charge you a fixed cost where judgment is awarded in HMRC's favour. Fixed costs will be based on a sliding scale set by the MoJ and will be shown as 'solicitors' costs' on the relevant claim forms.
For details of the sliding scale of costs and how these are reflected on the claim form see, 'The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2011' (Opens new window).
HMRC is currently unable to recover their costs in going to the county court and obtaining judgment. These changes will align HMRC with that of other creditors. Recovering the cost of court action from the debtor means that compliant customers do not have to bear the burden of these costs. It will also introduce a level of fairness to all taxpayers by making sure that those who do not pay do not gain an advantage over those who comply with their obligations by paying in full and on time.
Paying HMRC provides information on what to do if you have problems paying HMRC including where to get free and independent advice on dealing with debt.