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Draft Finance Bill 2019/20: HMRC’s new insolvency powers

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Draft legislation for the Finance Bill 2019/20 includes provisions allowing HMRC to make directors and other persons involved in tax avoidance, evasion or ‘phoenixism’ jointly and severally liable for a company’s tax liabilities, if there is a risk that the company may enter insolvency. The new provisions will empower HMRC to issue joint liability notices (JLNs) to individuals when certain conditions relating to tax avoidance and insolvency are met, as well as to companies which have been involved with repeated insolvency or non-payment of tax. Where a JLN is given, the individual and the company are made jointly and severally liable for the debt, unless the company no longer exists, in which case the individual is wholly responsible for the debt.

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