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Dealing with HMRC debts for sole traders and limited companies

HMRC can issue winding up petitions to companies who fall into tax arrears, therefore addressing issues immediately is imperative.

Dealing with HMRC debts for sole traders and limited companies

HMRC has the power to quickly close down a business if they believe it is insolvent. This is why it can be particularly worrying for sole traders and company directors with arrears of tax, National Insurance, or VAT.

Our experts at Northern Ireland Debt Solutions can offer assistance in a number of areas if your business is in this position. We’ll communicate with HMRC on your behalf, and help you deal with your current and past obligations.

We understand how HMRC operates, their systems, procedures, and priorities, and can guide you accordingly to make sure your business stands the best chance of survival. So what issues could you come across when dealing with HMRC?

Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs)

It’s crucial to seek professional help if you’ve received an accelerated payment notice, and cannot pay within the statutory 90 days. These notices form part of HMRC’s clampdown on tax avoidance schemes, and can place you in significant debt even if you’ve declared the scheme, and experienced no issues in the past.

We have extensive experience of helping Northern Ireland residents and business owners to deal with APNs. We’ll explain your options, and ensure you take the right steps in dealing with the problem.

HMRC enforcement of debt

HMRC are known to act quickly in the recovery of debt, and have extensive powers in this respect. They may begin by passing the collection of your debt to an agency, or apply heavy financial penalties in the light of your arrears.

Negotiating with HMRC can be daunting, however, and you may feel that professional input would serve you well in this respect. It can instil confidence that your financial situation is only temporary, and if we can argue a case in this vein, it can provide a valuable breathing space to deal with the situation.

Time to Pay arrangement (TTP)

A Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC is essentially an instalment plan to repay your tax or National Insurance arrears over an extended period of time, usually 3-6 months. It’s vital that your new payment is affordable, however, as if a single repayment is missed, HMRC are likely to seek a winding up order from the court to close your business down.

Entering formal insolvency

If HMRC don’t offer extra time to pay your arrears, and formal insolvency is your only option, we can offer the professional advice and support you need. You may be able to trade your way out of difficulty by entering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which also ceases legal action against you.

Alternatively, Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) might be appropriate if you’re worried about personal liability, or potential accusations that you’ve acted wrongfully.

Northern Ireland Debt Solutions can help your business deal with tax arrears, and offer a free same-day consultation in complete confidence. Call our expert team for professional advice and guidance on dealing with HMRC – we’ll work with them on your behalf.

Lawrence O'Hara

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 028 2132 6269

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  • Home visits also available
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Our Insolvency Practitioners
are regulated by ICAS or IPA
Home Visits also Available

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    Client Testimonials


    After losing my job, I started relying on credit cards and payday loans to get me through the month. As the debt build up, I found it increasingly difficult to keep up with the monthly payments and was hit with late penalties and added interest which only made the problem worse.

    I was ignoring letters and phone calls, and dreading knocks on the door fearing it was bailiffs. This was when I knew I had to seek expert advice. After contacting Northern Ireland Debt Solutions, I felt an immediate sense of relief. Within a matter of days, the phone calls and threatening letters stopped, and I was finally able to move on with my life.


    After burying my head in the sand for many years, I knew I had to face up to my debt problems. I was ashamed of the situation I had got myself in to, and it took a lot of courage to pick up the phone and make that first call to Northern Ireland Debt Solutions.

    My adviser was sympathetic to my problems and I never felt as though I was being judged. He explained all of the options which were available to me and explained how each would work in my situation. While bankruptcy is a big step, I knew it was the best thing for my circumstances. I paid off what I could afford and the rest was written off. Three years on, I am in a much better place financially and able to look forward to the future.

    Our Insolvency Practitioners
    are regulated by ICAS or IPA

    Contact our Office on 0800 0639 250