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HMRC Targets SMEs, But Ignores Corporate Tax-Dodgers

Restaurateurs and other small business owners are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as part of a national crackdown on tax evasion.

Over the next few weeks, specialist tax inspection teams will pursue restaurants with intensive sting operations across London, Manchester, Liverpool, Cumbria and parts of and Scotland. Read more…

Why Didn’t Insolvency Service Prosecute MG Rover’s Phoenix Four?

The former directors of MG Rover Group (MGRG), who pocketed over £40 million as the company spiralled into administration, should have been punished with lengthy disqualifications forcing them into early retirement and out of business management.

Instead, Peter Beale, John Towers, Nick Stephenson and John Edwards – known as the ‘Phoenix Four’ – received bans varying in length from three to six years. Read more…

£200,000 Chantrey Vellacott Thief Should Have Gone to Prison

Garry Hacker, an insolvency practitioner who stole over £200,000 from clients and insolvency estates and put the money into his accounts, has been sacked from veteran accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott and had his licence removed.

At a disciplinary tribunal hearing led by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Hacker admitted transferring funds into accounts belonging to his former domestic partner; another woman described as ‘Mrs A’; and his own Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and GE Capital accounts. Read more…

How to Protect Customer Deposits Without New Legislation

Britain must have new legislation to ensure cash from deposits and voucher sales is returned to customers when a retailer goes into administration, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

The call follows the recent insolvencies of retailers such as music chain Zavvi and furniture supplier MFI where customers lost cash paid to the firms before they went into administration. Read more…

Premier League Boss Tries and Fails to Defend Football Insolvency Rules

Premier League head Richard Scudamore has attempted to defend the football creditors’ rule, following a lawsuit filed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC, quite correctly, claim the rule on paying soccer creditors first is ‘unfair, unlawful and unacceptable.’ Read more…

Government’s Pre-Pack Administration Reforms Too Soft

A few weeks ago, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responsible for the insolvency regime, Ed Davey, unveiled a series of proposals aimed at reforming ‘pre-pack’ administrations.

These include forcing insolvency practitioners (IPs) to give creditors prior warning about the sale of significant proportions of a company’s assets to a connected party.

Under the terms of a pre-pack, collapsed businesses that enter administration can be sold almost simultaneously. However, this process, known as ‘phoenixing’, is often abused by directors trying to avoid debt. Read more…

David Cameron Paves Way for HMRC to Target PAYE and NIC Dodgers

From April 2012, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will require a security from employers if they suspect National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes will be unpaid.

HMRC claims the new legislation, which includes a criminal offence for business owners that are asked to give security but fail to do so, targets employers guilty of ‘serious non-compliance’. Read more…

Insolvency Practitioners’ Campaign against Energy Firms and Suppliers is Pointless

Britain’s leading professional association for insolvency and business recovery specialists has launched an astonishing attack on suppliers who raise prices or stop serving companies that have fallen into insolvent administration.

According to R3, debt-chasing suppliers such as utility companies are responsible for 14% of liquidations and the rapid increase in pre-pack administrations, in which a buyer is sought before management relinquish control of the business. Read more…

Insolvency Lawyer Issues UK Court Summons via Facebook

A lawyer has used Facebook to serve a court summons, in what experts claim is the first case of its kind in the UK.

Solicitor Hilary Thorpe claims she had exhausted all conventional methods of trying to contact a debtor on behalf of a client, before recalling a case in which the Supreme Court in Australia gave a lawyer permission to use Facebook to serve legal documents. Read more…

Sports Celebrities Snookered by Management Firm Liquidation

The liquidation of a management firm whose clients included sports stars such Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Olympic gold-winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy is likely to set a lengthy court battle in motion.

According to the Daily Mail, several of 110 Sport Management (110SM)‘s former clients are preparing to launch compensation claims for outstanding payments against the company, which collapsed last month. Read more…

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