Revenue have today announced an important change to the way they use Sheriffs to collect outstanding taxes.
Up to now, each Sheriff had a period of six months to collect the money owing on a warrant issued by Revenue. This period has now been cut to three months.
This change means that Sheriffs will now be much quicker to collect tax bills once a warrant has issued for them.
They will also have far less scope to allow individuals and businesses to settle bills gradually.
This is very bad news, particularly for the many businesses who experience short-term cashflow pressures and who occasionally are unable to settle their Revenue liabilities as they become due.
Although many people have a natural and terrible dread of having to deal with Sheriffs, I have found over the years that they and their staff are usually very helpful, constructive and understanding in assisting taxpayers to manage and settle their debts to Revenue.
This change will inevitably put more pressure on Sheriffs to be the opposite.
It is bound to cause more business failures and job losses.
As if we didn’t have enough of both.
For more, see the new Revenue Guidelines for Sheriff Enforcement.