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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Breach of Walking Possession Order: Why a penalty arises: What is a Breach of Walking Possession Order

Distress is the taking of possession of a debtor’s goods (with certain restrictions) and then to sell those goods if the debt remains unpaid.

When distress is levied the goods may immediately be removed from the debtor’s premises. However, HMRC may enter into a contractual arrangement with the debtor known as a walking possession agreement, in which the debtor agrees the property is under restraint and that the goods remain on his premises unless we consent to removal.

A walking possession order is issued to the debtor and if they remove goods from the premises without authorisation from HMRC, it is deemed a breach of the walking possession order and the debtor becomes liable to a penalty.

There are no implications under the Human Rights Act for a breach of walking possession order penalty, see VCP10160.