Enforcement action: distraint: introduction to distraint: general
Purpose of distraint
The main purpose of a distraint visit is to obtain payment. If payment is not made distraint should be levied.
Distraint involves seizing and selling a debtor’s goods in settlement of outstanding HMRC debts, including costs. It is a summary and immediate remedy which does not require the sanction of a court and is the Department’s preferred enforcement route.
A court order only applies to distress warrants and warrants of execution, not distraint.