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Fewer HMRC winding-up petitions but more HMRC bailiffs

July 19 2013

Leading Insolvency Practitioners KSA Group report that HMRC issued 42% fewer winding up petitions in the UK in the financial year 2012/13 to wind up companies than they did in the previous year. Winding up petitions are now at the lowest figure in five years. In Scotland the number of winding up petitions issued fell by 68%.

HMRC issued 3,733 petitions for winding up companies in 2012/13, compared to 6,440 in 2011/12.

However the use of distraint by HMRC has increased. We are increasingly coming across small businesses that have had a visit from the HMRC field officer. The latest figures available for distraint show a significant increase. According to Syscap, the finance providers, HMRC have used distraint to seize business assets – 4,746 times to collect VAT in 2012. This represents a 98% increase on the 2,401 times it used these powers to recover overdue VAT in 2011.

It looks like this is continuing to grow in 2013.

Directors and their advisers should no that it is never too late to effect a rescue even if the company’s assets have been distrained upon.

For more information see CompanyRescue.

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The articles published on this website, current at the date of posting, are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

Call us on ☎ 02071830529 or email us on for more information about the specialist insolvency legal services we provide. Our team of London lawyers are based in Middle Temple adjacent to the Companies Court. We are committed to providing professional and specialist legal advice and are leading experts in cases involving winding-up petitions.