Real Life Stories

Below are a selection of quotes from a survey carried out on 92 victims in 2009. If you wish to add your circumstances to this page, please contact us. Rest assured your confidentiality will be maintained and no names will be mentioned on this page at any time.

"It is such as large sum it would be very difficult to pay back even over many years; especially with HMRC’s high interest rates…"[5]

"For the last year, it feels as if I have been standing in the middle of a cell with no windows, doors or other exits. The walls have been gradually moving inwards towards me and eventually they will crush me."[5]

"The situation is causing great stress especially for my wife who is pregnant. The pregnancy is already complicated by a number of medical conditions and this additional stress is only making the situation worse!"[8]

"This is causing great stress on our relationship and both of us suffer from periods of stress and unhappiness as a result. Although the biggest losers in all of this are the kids due to the pressure on me an my wife we are often less than patient with them and they are not having the fun time that youngsters should be having. I am finding the prospect of all of this very difficult to handle and I am struggling to sleep at night, sometimes resorting to alcohol to both help sleep and forget, whilst it is not out of control I am aware that this is the slippery slope."[11]

"I have a stressful job and having this occur in my private life means I cannot concentrate/focus on my job, often I am stressed as a result of both my job and because of this which sometimes is really hard to deal with, to the point where the worry has pushed to the point of breakdown and I have felt I cannot take no more I just want it all to go away. The thing that makes my situation worse is that my children who are 6 and 4 do not know what is going on and sometimes when it is hard for me to deal with they don't see a happy dad and I take it out on them, my relationship with my wife has also suffered as a result of which on most occasions leads to arguments."[12]

"This has been a black cloud hanging over my wife and children for 6 years because HMRC taken this long to take action. Caused untold strain on marriage and family life."[39]

"The stress at times has been horrendous. My wife has cried herself to sleep many times. It has put a strain on our marriage, made much worse by HMRC dragging it out for so many years. If they had fought and won years ago, we would be left with something, and would have had time to plan. Now we don't."[47]

"My wife and I came close to splitting up last year when all of this blew up. We had constant rows about money, and this was not nice for our three children to listen to."[54]

"Selling the house is not an option as the wife would then want a divorce, don't even want to think about bankruptcy - what about prison?"[59]

"The stress of the situation topped by unfair and unreasonable demands from HMRC has resulted in divorce proceedings and I am having to sell my house in order to meet this obligation."[62]

"It is no exaggeration to say that I have had nightmares about the potential impact of this on us, and I worry about this issue many times a day. My wife who is also currently undergoing IVF treatment has point-blank refused to discuss this matter because she finds it too worrying to talk about."[65]

"Black deep depression at times. I worry for our old age; My wife worries if I will survive to ‘enjoy’ it."[69]

"It has affected me in that I can't sleep (DR prescribed sleeping pills but they don't really help) which is making me feel really unwell most of the time. I also have back problems (had surgery) and the strain is really beginning to tell. My back is the worst it has been for 8 years (since the surgery). My wife handles it well on the surface but it is eating away at her. She has been ill for 8 out of the last 12 months."[81]