Taylors Solicitors

| Bookmark | Help | Print

Call us on 01254 297900 

Taylors Solicitors Homepage

Directors Beware: HMRC On The Offensive

» Posted on: 23 November 2010
» Posted by: Andrew Livesey
» Service area: Business Support and Restructuring

» Back to news

» Latest News

It is public knowledge that the level of HMRC debts has escalated to unprecedented levels since the start of the credit crisis and the subsequent recession. It is reported by the BBC and other organisations that uncollected HM Revenue and Customs debts in the last financial year rose to an excess of £42 billion!

Most analysts agree that the UK economic outlook and the outlook for the region’s businesses remain challenging across the board and, in some sectors, is very bleak. The continued reluctance, despite political pressure, of the banks to extend funding lines, particularly to SME business will result in continuing pressure in meeting regular ongoing PAYE, NI, VAT, corporation tax and other tax obligations to the Revenue. Very often tax obligations are seen as an “under the counter” additional source of working capital, often borne out of necessity as businesses struggle to collect cash and to meet other pressing obligations. However, the warning signs are continuing to appear that the perceived lax attitude of HMRC to collections will be replaced by a tougher regime. This will range from VAT and PAYE/NI security bonds for businesses which have a poor compliance record, lightning visits by case officers to make immediate business assessments and the streamlining of enforcement procedures to ensure that non-compliant businesses are identified and pursued more quickly.

It is important that directors are aware that the trade off for HMRC previously allowing the wider use of time to pay arrangements and forbearance in pursuing arrears is a greater focus on the conduct of the directors of the business should it fail. There is already a significant increase in the number of director disqualification applications where it is perceived that the company was being traded to the detriment of crown creditors. There are also signs of an increased number of actions by HMRC seeking to recover arrears of PAYE from individual directors of companies. HMRC has recently announced plans to seize an additional £4 billion in revenue in 2010/2011 by adopting a more aggressive strategy which may well result in a significant number of investigations into both compliant and non-compliant businesses.

If you are concerned about the prospects for your business and if a business is non-complaint with its dealings with HMRC, it is essential that you take professional advice to mitigate the risk of personal liability or disqualification action. For further information please contact Andrew Livesey.

Copyright 2006 - 2010 Taylors Solicitors

» Print          »

Home  |  Services  |  News  |  People  |  About  |  Contact
Blackburn: Rawlings House, Exchange Street, Blackburn, BB1 7JN.
Tel: 01254 297900 / Fax: 01254 297916
Manchester: Ninth Floor, 80 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3FX.
Tel: 0161 200 5690 / Fax: 0161 200 5699
©Taylors Solicitors  |  Website Terms  |  Data Protection  |  Website Design  |  Sitemap
Regulated by The Law Society