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You may be a little surprised to see us commenting on the Chancellor’s recent Budget. After all, we don’t advise on tax issues. However, deep in the small print of the Chancellor’s announcements was one piece of bad news … really bad news.

That was the announcement that HMRC are going to be given power to access bank accounts directly in order to recover unpaid taxes. Of course, the Revenue should have all the powers they need to pursue tax defaulters but to be able to raid bank accounts at the click of a mouse and with no independent oversight, acting first and asking second, really is deplorable. It’s not as though HMRC have an impressive track record for getting things right first time.

It would allow HMRC to steal a march on other creditors, in effect restoring Crown preference which was abolished years ago. It could effectively close down a business with no form of Court involvement, and put an enormous hurdle in the way of business rescue if cash can simply be appropriated by the State.

It may well bolster the Treasury’s coffers – it’s predicting raising £375m by the end of 2018/19 – but for the State is to be able to confiscate assets without the Courts sanction is a massively draconian power in a democratic society.

East Germany, here we come!

Of course, if you (or your business) are having problems meeting your tax debts, it’s vital to take advice before things get out of hand. At tri group our specialist team of experienced insolvency professionals has vast experience of businesses of all types and sizes, and of dealing with financial problems from the most straightforward to the most complex. We will appraise the business, identify the key problems and discuss the available options in plain, jargon-free language – clear corporate recovery advice when you need it most. For us, winding up is always the last resort, and we’ll do everything we can to help you avoid it.