Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to raid people’s bank accounts are a “power too far” for the taxman and will damage innocent families and vulnerable people, according to a powerful new coalition calling for him to ditch the proposals.

In a letter to The Sunday Times, organisations representing consumers, businesses, banks, building societies, lawyers and accountants warn that they are “deeply concerned” by plans to hand the power to seize unpaid tax to “error prone” revenue officials. The chancellor said in his budget he would hand HMRC the right to take the cash without a court order in order to target 17,000 debtors every year. Those who owe more than £1,000 could also have their accounts frozen. The letter asks Osborne to abandon the proposals, warning: “These plans risk causing particular damage not to the people being targeted but to the innocent and the vulnerable.

The signatories include the Money Advice Trust, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, the Law Society, the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

(summary thanks to the CIOT)

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