There is some – at least, anecdotal – evidence that HMRC have recently been making much greater use of their powers to make directors personally liable for the national insurance debts of their failed companies. The power derives from section 121C of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, which allows HMRC to issue personal liability notices (PLNs) when a company has failed to pay NI contributions and that failure is “attributable to the fraud or neglect of one or more individuals who were, at the time of the fraud or neglect, officers of the company” (known as “culpable officers”).
According to research carried out by Credit Action, the financial education charity, outstanding personal debt in the UK stood at £1.420 trillion at the end of November 2012. That means that UK individuals owed almost as much as the entire country produced in the whole of 2011!
The latest information from Deloitte detailing company insolvency data shows that there’s been a significant fall in the number of companies entering administration. The figures for January to September 2013 are 16.4% lower than for the same period in 2012, indicating that there has been an overall improvement in trading conditions.
Christmas is an expensive time of year. We all want to have a good time and give our loved ones the best that we possibly can. The cost of food, drink, entertainment and presents takes a toll on all our finances, and it’s an especially worrying time for those who struggle to make ends meet.
A recent case has raised issues which may have far-reaching and important consequences on the finances of one spouse in the event of the bankruptcy of the other. The question which arose in the recent case of Lemon & Wood v Chawda concerned a residential investment property jointly owned by Mr and Mrs Chawda since it was purchased in 1995. Both before and after Mr Chawda’s bankruptcy in November 2011, the rental income had been shared equally between them.
… that, according to the latest figures from The Money Charity, at the end of September 2013: Outstanding personal debt in the UK stood at £1,428,000,000,000; The average household owed £54,178 (including mortgages). Put another way, every adult in the UK owed £28,649;
Should we open an office in the London Borough of Walford? It’s probably about 12 years or so since the BBC soap Eastenders ran a story-line in which would-be catering magnate, Ian Beale, became bankrupt. His then squeeze, Laura, bought back his fish and chip shop from the Official Receiver enabling the business to continue. But 2013 has seen a rash of real-life bankruptcies of past and current Eastenders stars.
Recent years have seen a growth in the number of unqualified, unregulated so-called “insolvency advisers”. Frequently the advice given is, to say the least, decidedly dodgy, and the Insolvency Service is conducting an ongoing operation looking at such businesses.
Businesses aren’t out of the woods yet in terms of financial security. Corporate insolvencies are down, but this might only be storing up problems for later. If your business is struggling financially, what should you do to try and keep the company running?