Time to Pay: On the Way?

July 25, 2011

There was a time when it was fairly easy to agree a time to pay arrangement with HMRC. It was simply a matter of ringing up, asking politely, and the answer was “yes” without too many searching questions.

How times change. It’s probably fair to say that, in the early days, HMRC managed to provide a cash flow boost to businesses that had no particular cash flow problems whilst, at the other extreme, putting off the evil day for a number of hopeless basket cases.

Read more

A Reminder for the Committee

July 18, 2011

There’s a cautionary reminder for committee members of clubs and other incorporated associations in the recent Court decision in Davies v Barnes Webster & Sons Limited.

Mr Davies was the president and a member of the management committee of a club. The club wanted some building work done, and entered into a contract with Barnes Webster for that work. The contract was signed by the club’s treasurer on the committee’s authority. In due course, the club failed to pay the money due under the contract. Read more

Public Bodies, Vulnerable Clients and the Disability Discrimination Act

April 18, 2011

Does the decision in the recent case of Haworth v Cartmel have implications far beyond insolvency in terms of the way HMRC (and other public bodies) deal with vulnerable individuals?

Ms Haworth suffered from mental health issues, including a phobia of opening letters. In August 2005, HMRC received an anonymous tip-off that she was trading as a commercial horse breeder, and they subsequently raised a Determination claiming £192,000 in undeclared tax.

Read more

Money woes linked to rise in depression

April 3, 2011

So reads the headline on the BBC News website, over a story that prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs like Prozac have risen by some 43% over the past four years.

The story has been picked up by many newspapers, with headlines like “Economic gloom fuelling rise in depression” (Independent); “Recession linked to huge rise in use of antidepressants” (Telegraph) and “Economic slump fuels 43% rise in use of anti-depressants” (Mail). According to the reports GPs and mental health charities are being contacted increasingly by people struggling with worries over their debts.

Read more

When Insolvent does not mean Insolvency

March 4, 2011

Section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 defines insolvency in two ways:

• The “cash flow” test of whether a company is able to meet its liabilities as and when they fall due for payment; and

• The “balance sheet” test of whether the company’s liabilities, including future and contingent liabilities, exceed its assets.

Read more

More Pubs Bite the Dust

August 23, 2010

Another day, another pub closes its doors for good – or, according to CAMRA’s figures, another day, another six pub closures.

Pub and bar closures are, of course, not news; large numbers of pubs, particularly in rural areas, have closed in the last few years. Many blame the introduction of the smoking ban, exaccerbated by substantial increases in the duty on beer, as a result of which prices have increased by well above the rate of inflation.

Read more

Another Travel Company Folds

August 13, 2010

Today’s news that travel company Sun4U has ceased trading, the second tour operator to do so in the last month, will come as a major shock for the many families who had been enjoying or looking forward to their no doubt much anticipated holiday.

Read more

Consultation on Bankruptcy Reforms

August 11, 2010

The Government has published a consultation document on proposed reforms to the bankruptcy process, particularly benefiting over-indebted individuals who wish to take the step of making themselves bankrupt.

Read more

Debt Management Plans Scrutinised

August 11, 2010

The Government has just concluded a consultation on debt management plans, particularly considering whether DMPs should be subject to tighter regulation.

Read more