All posts by Tom D'Arcy

Company insolvency statistics end uncertain year with a glimmer of hope

The Insolvency Service has released company insolvency statistics for Q4 September to December 2019 for England and Wales, showing an increase in underlying company insolvencies for the year to their highest levels since 2013. Despite the overall increase in 2019 over previous years, the last quarter witnessed a slight decrease in underlying company insolvencies – […]

Directors beware!

In previous blogs, we have looked at the various processes HMRC will use to recover tax and VAT such as distraint, time to pay arrangements, issuing security notices and as a last resort, insolvency.  As part of HMRC drive to improve tax collection and clamp down on companies and individuals seeking to avoid or evade […]

HMRC preferential status – update

On 31 October 2018 we posted a blog on HMRC regaining preferential creditor status and the potential effect on banks and other lenders.  HMRC recently commenced a consultation period which is due to expire on 27 May 2019.  The consultation is being undertaken with a view to deciding how the new rules should be implemented […]

Is retail heading for even tougher times?

The retail sector has gone through significant transformation over the last decade with the introduction of new technologies, new business models, intensifying competition and increasingly sophisticated consumers which have all contributed to a changing landscape in the industry.  Volume discounters and low-cost chains now dominate the market whilst established household names have found conditions more […]

Insolvencies rise again in Q4 2018

The most recent insolvency stats have been released from the insolvency service for Q4 of 2018.  Corporate insolvencies increased to 16,090 which is the highest level since 2014 and comprised of increases in all types of corporate insolvency with the exception of administrative receivership.  Whilst corporate insolvencies feel by 9% from Q3 to Q4, there […]

HMRC and Negotiation and Time to Pay Agreements

Where a company has fallen behind with Tax or VAT payments but hasn’t yet been passed to EIS (Enforcement & Insolvency Service), there is still time to negotiate a time to pay agreement (TTPA). A company can apply to HMRC for a TTPA if the debt has fallen due within the last 30 days.  If […]

Quick! Time is running out…….

With the end of the tax year only one month away, now may be the time to consider putting a company through a solvent restructure otherwise known as a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL). Where the company has assets in excess of £25,000, by using the MVL process, shareholders can gain advantageous rates of tax on […]

Can a Director re-use a company name following Liquidation?

Well the quick answer is ‘it depends’… If you want to re-use a company name after it has become insolvent, care must be taken to ensure you keep within the rules, or you could face criminal proceedings and become personally liable for the successor company’s liabilities.   When is a name prohibited? Section 216 of […]

What is wrongful trading?

Following the collapse of Carillion in what could be one of the largest insolvencies our profession has seen, the directors of the company have been ordered by the Work and Pensions and BEIS committees to give evidence as to why the company went into liquidation with liabilities estimated to be in excess of £1.5 billion.  […]

Employee claims in insolvency

Employee claims in insolvency When the decision is made to place a company into an insolvency procedure and some or all of the employees are made redundant, this can leave employees in an extremely precarious situation.  As a consequence of the employer being insolvent, in many cases employees are faced with not only losing their […]

Company Voluntary Arrangements – a misunderstood or misused procedure?

If recent statistics are to be believed, some 86% of Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) entered into between 2013 and 2015 have failed and an alternative insolvency process has been required.   There are numerous reasons why a CVA may not work as intended however in the right circumstances a CVA still offers an opportunity to restructure […]

What are the effects of the new insolvency rules?

The new Insolvency Rules came into effect on the 6th April 2017. The new rules are already undoubtedly having a significant impact on the Insolvency profession. They represent the most significant shake up in the insolvency professional legislation for more than 30 years when the Insolvency Act was introduced in 1986. The changes have been brought […]

Dining out

With Jamie Oliver earlier this year announcing the closure of six of his restaurants, 2017 looks set to be a challenging year for the sector and retail generally. The cost of labour will increase in April following an increase in the minimum wage which dovetails with a revaluation of business property which may lead to […]

2017 a challenging year ahead?

The Insolvency Service has released the insolvency statistics for the final quarter of 2016 and whilst there has been only a marginal increase in corporate insolvencies there has been a significant increase in personal insolvencies compared to 2016. Whilst the number of people becoming bankrupt has continued to decline, the increase in personal insolvencies has […]

Capital or Income? Its up to you to decide!

As many readers will be aware, on 6 April 2016 the anti-avoidance Transactions In Securities (TIS) rules were enacted as part of the Finance Act 2016 specifically to target phoenix companies. Under the new TIS rules, certain distributions made to shareholders are treated as income rather than capital. The rules apply where the main purpose […]

Another recovery tool available to HMRC

Whilst HMRC has had the power to issue a notice requiring a business to give security for some time (since 1994 for VAT and 2012 for PAYE/NI), they have not in our experience been commonplace despite HMRC being a creditor usually for a substantial amount. In the recent past, however, we have seen two instances […]

Case Study: Value for Money?

White Maund met the directors of a call centre late on a Thursday evening to discuss the options available to the company.  As a consequence of the global recession and low-cost competition from India and the Far East, the company had experienced a significant downturn in trade and had accrued liabilities due to a lack […]

Father and son disqualified for 8 years

The debts in this matter were significant however failure to pay PAYE/ VAT is something we see time and time again and can be evidence of wrongful trading (trading with the knowledge of insolvency) which in turn can lead to disqualifications and potential recovery action against the directors personally. Failing to pay crown monies occurs […]

Changes to the Insolvency Service fees 2016

In conjunction with HM Treasury, the Insolvency Service has imposed a new fee structure for bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations which come into force on 21 July 2016. The objective behind the new fee structure is for the Insolvency Service to achieve full cost recovery. The Government estimates that the new fees will cost the creditor […]

Directors’ loans: a warning!

From 9 March 2015 the cost to litigants in bringing civil claims before the Court will substantially increase for most claims as follows:- The fee for claims from £1 to £9,999 will remain unchanged; The fee for claims from £10,000 to £199,999 will be 5% of the value of the claim; The fee for claims […]

Time is running out?

On 1 March 2012 the enactment of the Extra Statutory Concessions Order came into force restricting the use of Extra Statutory Concession C16 in companies with less than £25,000 to be distributed to shareholders as capital. As a consequence, in order for shareholders to receive capital in excess of the £25,000 cap, we have seen […]

Bankruptcy and Pensions – further developments

In my blog in March this year, I discussed the possible effect of the new pensions rules coming into force in April 2015, whereby a Trustee in Bankruptcy may be able to force a debtor to draw down the whole of his or her pension and claim the same under an Income Payments Order (IPO) […]

No news, good news?

The Bank of England has today released its August 2014 Inflation Report confirming that interest rates will remain at 0.5% with the first increases not expected until 2015. Whilst unemployment has fallen to 6.5%, well below the 7% target where the Bank of England would consider interest rate increases, wages are not increasing as fast […]

Good news for creditors!

Under current legislation, Insolvency Practitioners (“IP”) are required to comply with significant regulatory and reporting requirements that can lead to increased costs and delays in completing an insolvency process. The issue of IP fees has been widely commented on in the press and in Court and has been seen by creditors and other stakeholders as […]

Survival of the fittest

An interesting article in the times today – statistics released by Deloitte reveal growing optimism amongst the UK’s entrepreneurs. Over 80% consider that their businesses will grow by more than 10% in the next 12 months, being the highest proportion since the survey began 5 years ago. Furthermore, a reported 56% of entrepreneurs said they […]

Disclose or not to disclose…

Mr Andrew Barker won £35k on the show in April 2012 but failed to disclose this to the Official Receiver and his creditors. Under section 353 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (as amended) un-discharged bankrupts are required to disclose all property comprised in his/her estate to the Official Receiver or Trustee. The winnings were considered […]