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My wife has just received a letter from a debt collection agency who are working on behalf of HMRC. After completing the 18/19 self assessment there was some tax due, which I paid straight away. I got an email to say the payment had been processed successfully. A few months later my wife got a cheque for the same amount back from HMRC with a letter saying she had paid too much tax. Foolishly we thought it was a nice surprise and banked the cheque. Then last week she got a letter saying she owes the same amount back as unpaid tax so she rang up to ask why. Apparently I paid the 18/19 due tax too quickly and the system couldn't keep up. She asked if we could settle the amount but was advised to leave it until after the 19/20 assessment has been submitted. Now she has a letter from the debt collector and is feeling quite stressed about it all. She has tried ringing HMRC but cannot get through to see if the letter is legitimate, although the amount on the letter is exactly the amount due. Can anyone from HMRC advise if they do use debt collection agencies to recover
 

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To be honest, the best variant would be to address to an agency fighting for consumers' rights. The fact that they messed up is obvious, but due to the circumstance the debt collection agency is usually not that indulgent and kind, they probably won't tolerate you because of the mistake made in HRMC, they simply don't care, unfortunately. So, I suggest you stay prepared and find the consumer law firm fighting against debt collection agencies and their inappropriate way of behaving with debtors.The complaints are being made daily, so consequently the law firms are fighting actively. I've been there, in similar situation, so I do realize that the most important thing now is to know your rights and being able to defend them.
 
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