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Winding up petitions by HMRC increase

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HMRC has filed 4,147 winding-up petitions in the courts in the tax year ended 31 March 2014 – an increase of 11% on the previous year when it submitted 3,733 requests, says LDF, a finance provider.

LDF says that the jump in the number of petitions filed by HMRC to wind companies up throws a spotlight on the lengths to which it is prepared to go to recover the tax which is owed. It explains that applying to have a company wound up is the most powerful weapon in HMRC’s arsenal against businesses with unpaid tax bills, because if granted it forces a business to be sold and its assets liquidated in order to get back the amount outstanding.

Managing director of LDF Peter Alderson says: ‘Despite having other heavyweight tools at its disposal, such as the power of distraint which allows it to seize a debtor’s assets, HMRC appears to be taking an increasingly aggressive stance.’