Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: distraint: after the levy: the role of the auctioneer


In this chapter the single term ‘auctioneer’ is used to avoid a multiplicity of terms. In practice the person or firm to whom you hand over the distraint for completion by removal and sale will normally be a firm of auctioneers.

But there may be cases where the bailiff can offer the full range of services right through to auction and, in consultation with the Debt Management Group, you may choose to use them.

When engaging an auctioneer follow the criteria at DMBM655490.

Whoever you use for this work must be capable of carrying out your instructions quickly, professionally and to a high standard.

These instructions also apply where the auctioneer employs others to assist in removal or auction work. In particular the declaration of confidentiality should be signed by all auctioneer staff used on HMRC work. Your auctioneer should be made aware of these requirements.

Your auctioneer should be given a copy of the Auctioneer’s Pack (AP) and made aware of the contents and requirements (DMBM656035).

Auctioneer’s costs

Your DMGO will have negotiated a ‘setting up’ fee with the auctioneer and either arranged the ‘reasonable costs’ of removal, storage, advertising and sale or delegated this to the DTO (DMBM656370).

You should be acquainted with these costs so you can assess the realisations value of goods when levying distraint. This is essential as all the costs must be satisfied from the proceeds of the sale (DMBM655830).