The Chancellor announced in his budget speech on the 19th March 2014 that the government intends to give HMRC powers to collect debts from peoples bank accounts directly. This is in relation to people who have money in their bank and building society accounts (including ISAs) but choose not to pay their tax. This power is available where an individual owes at least £1000 in unpaid tax or overpaid tax credits and has been contacted multiple times by HMRC to pay. This measure is for people who just refuse to pay their tax bill.
Safeguards have been promised to leave the individual with at least £5000 of their own money after debts have been collected.
There is to be a consultation on the implementation of this measure, with legislation following in the Finance Bill 2015.
It will be interesting to see how HMRC propose to collate the correct bank account details and collect the money from the correct bank accounts.