Please visit https://www.companyrescue.co.uk/ for confidential help and insolvency advice or email keiths@ksagroup.co.uk

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Is the economy on the turn?

Since the economy narrowly avoided a "triple dip" recession last week some more encouraging economic news has emerged.  Mortgage approvals and lending to businesses improved in March by more than expected.

In fact, lending to small and medium sized businesses, excluding overdrafts, increased by £239m.  This is the first rise since August 2011.  It should be noted that the many new lends may in fact be refinancing of existing arrangements rather than completely new loans.  The finance market is becoming increasingly complex with more entrants into the market.  Read our pages about funding options for business and you will see just how many different ways there are to lend/borrow money.

Coupled with this there has been reported, in London at least, a strong recovery in house prices although this is mainly down to a distinct lack of supply.  However sentiment is always important and higher house prices will give a boost to our consumer led economy.  Of course, a rebalancing of the economy towards more manufacturing seems to be a long way off as the small growth in GDP reported earlier was almost entirely down to strong growth in the service sector.


Monday, 29 April 2013

Rowecord Engineering in administration today


Rowecord Engineering the biggest steelwork company in Wales is due to go into administration today putting 400 jobs at risk.

The company is best known for high profile prestigious projects such as the roof for the Olympics aquatics centre.  The problem appears to have been a drying up of large scale projects in the region of £500k upon which it depends.

Newport-based Rowecord Engineering says it has exhausted every option to sustain the business.

The company has a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes per annum and a total workforce of 600.

This is obviously a blow for Wales and highlights that the construction sector is still struggling.  It was reported earlier that construction activity shrunk by 2.5% in the first quarter of 2013 which was only offset by the services sector's strong growth which prevented the economy slipping back into recession.

Interestingly there appears to be an unusually high incidence of construction and engineering businesses featured in the latest Winding up Petition List from HMRC click on the link to see.





Friday, 26 April 2013

AGS Home Improvement in administration but buyers are waiting


Newton Abbot-based AGS Home Improvement Ltd, which was one of South Devon's biggest employers, and was established for almost 40 years, has gone into administration with a loss of around 125 jobs.

​The company  specialises in the supply and installation of aluminium and PVCu windows, doors and conservatories in South West.

The insolvency practitioner, Mark Bowen of MB Insolvency is now looking to sell parts of the business.  He also said; "We had to make the employees redundant as we couldn't pay them while in administration. Purchasers of the business will help resecure the employment for a considerable amount of former workers."
Mr Bowen added that buyers should be secured on Monday.

This all looks quite positive if the employees can be re-employed.  So what has happened?  The administrator had to make the employees all redundant as he cannot run the business at a loss.  However administration is a powerful rescue technique and so all onerous contracts can be terminated and debts, including secured debts can be compromised.  If a buyer can  be found then the business will be rescued.

Why not a pre pack?

Well, an administration sale should be able to get around the TUPE issues, which are where the employees contracts are transferred to the new company so any redundancy costs have to be met by the buyer.  One still needs to be careful as if it can be shown that the new buyer agreed to just wait until the company went into administration in order to pick up the business at a much reduced price then TUPE could apply.  The law is still very fluid on these points so before going into administration and thinking of selling the assets it is essential that you seek legal advice

Blogged by Robert Moore

Thursday, 25 April 2013

UK GDP shows triple dip avoided

The latest ONS statistics have shown that the UK economy avoided a further shrinking in the first quarter of 2013 with  "growth" of 0.3%.  Whilst this is a relief for the Government it is almost just a rounding error.

The main thing that these statistics have revealed is the difference in performance of different sectors of the economy.  The service sector grew by 0.6% whilst the construction sector continued to shrink by a further 2.5%.  Meanwhile the much hyped rebalancing of the economy appears to not have happened as 0.03% growth is all it has mustered.

Construction is need of a boost as more businesses fail with McArdle, the civil engineering contractor, being the latest to go into administration.


So what can be done for struggling construction businesses?

In construction the smallest mistake culminating in a cost overrun could be critical. A business may no longer be viable going forward so liquidation might be the only option.
If a business is fundamentally viable then a company voluntary arrangement could be the answer
One particular building company we rescued had an overdraft of £150k with RBS. This bank is known for blocking pre-pack administrations where the business is sold to the encumbents. So after a meeting with KSA Group a rescue plan was put together.

For details of how this building company was rescued please read our case study; CVA Rescues Building Company in the North East







Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Scottish business insolvencies fall 62.8% in last quarter compared to last year

The number of people and businesses going bust in Scotland has fallen sharply, according to
Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), which is Scotland's version of the Insolvency Service.  The AiB said the number of Scottish companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership fell by 22.7% in the latest quarter and the total was 62.9% lower!! than a year ago.

The overall number of personal insolvencies is now at its lowest quarterly level since the Low Income Low Asset (LILA) route into bankruptcy was introduced in April 2008.

These figures are encouraging but still many businesses continue to struggle.  KSA Group has managed to help a number of businesses in the region with time to pay deals and company voluntary arrangements,  These figures are not included as it only concentrates on administrations and receiverships.


Meanwhile, the quarterly Red Flag Alert statistics, published by Begbies Traynor, indicates that since the first quarter of 2012, combined levels of distress have fallen by over 50% in Scotland.

Derek Robinson
Scottish Companies needing help can call our Scottish Office on 0131 242 0081 and you can talk to Derek Robinson our Regional Manager

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

HMRC increases its use of Distraint in 2012


HMRC has almost doubled its use of powers to seize businesses’ assets in order to settle late VAT bills in the last year.

According to Syscap, the finance providers, HMRC has used its powers of distraint to seize business assets – 4,746 times to collect VAT in 2012.  This represents a 98% increase on the 2,401 times it used these powers to recover overdue VAT in 2011.

It goes to show how important it is to collect money in from debtors as VAT is often payable when the invoice is issued rather than when it is paid.  You can opt to pay only on receiving payment but then you can only claim back VAT after you have paid your suppliers - This is known as cash accounting

For help on how to collect debts in refer to our pages on debtor collections

What can you do about distraint?


Effectively if you do not reach a deal or pay in full the field officer or their agents can remove and sell the assets in 5 days. To sell the assets, after they are covered in this way is a criminal offence. If the bailiff has obtained a walking possession he can force entry to recover the goods after the 5 day period.

Threats of distraint or legally taking possession of goods should not be ignored. If you do not agree that you owe the tax demanded, you should tell the HMRC officer, but you will find that he/she is in a non-negotiable position once he/she is on the premises.

So, if you have a distraint threat or have been visited by an HMRC officer or bailiff , then you must ACT.  In the event that the business is not viable going forward call us and we can put the company into liquidation quickly and lower the risk of personal liability.

It may be that you will be able to negotiate time to pay VAT going forward but you will need to pay the outstanding very quickly



Harlequin Property in Administration

Harlequin Property, the Essex-based Investment firm, which promoted off plan investments in the Caribbean filed an intention to appoint administrators yesterday. A statement, signed by director Carole Ames,  said: “The company is or is likely to become unable to pay its debts.”  

The firm has taken more than £300m deposits from investors since 2006.  However, only some 300 properties appear to have been built and there is currently an investigation by the Police.  The firm promoted its investments through many celebrities such as Pat Cash and Gary Player.  It is understood that around 40 investors served statutory demands on the firm for monies owed to them.  The next step would have been a winding up petition.

It has prompted fears over the future of at least 6,000 investor’s deposits, many paid through personal pensions, and around 40 jobs at the Basildon head office.

It is unclear as yet what will happen to the Caribbean registered companies which own and planned to develop the resorts.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Scottish Coal in Liquidation


Scottish Coal has gone into liquidation, with the loss of 590 jobs, the vast majority of which are in Clydesdale. All operations have stopped and Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar, of KPMG, were appointed Joint Provisional Liquidators on Friday.

Some 590 employees were made redundant and all operations ceased immediately following the insolvency appointment. 142 staff remain to help the liquidators secure the sites and help sell any assets.  Scottish Coal operates six open cast coal mines  in East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife.  The business employed a total of 732 people.

Blair Nimmo, Joint Provisional Liquidator and Head of Restructuring at KPMG in Scotland said: “In light of Scottish Coal’s poor trading and financial position, we have had to cease trading with immediate effect.

“It is extremely regrettable that we have had to make so many redundancies but have been left with no other option.

The problems at Scottish Coal were well publicised as 450 staff were placed on notice of redundancy back in March as the directors tried to restructure the business.  Falling coal prices, and increased operational costs (mainly fuel) have put a strain on cashflow.  Finally the prospect of dwindling reserves was the final straw.


Any parties with an interest in acquiring the business and assets should contact Blair Nimmo in KPMG’s Edinburgh office on 0131 222 2000 or in writing at Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2EG.

Friday, 19 April 2013

KSA Group Insolvency Notice

Wallwood Independent Limited Creditors Voluntary Liquidation Notice

Meeting of the Creditors of the above named Company will be held at The Rutland Square Hotel, Nottingham, St James Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FJ on 1 May 2013 at 1.15 pm.

For full details see the notice below

http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/insolvency-notices/wallwood-independent-limited-creditors-voluntary-liquidation-notice

Lending to businesses continues to fall


New data released by the Bank of England shows that lending to businesses fell by £4.8 billion in the three months to February.

The fall in business ending accelerated from an annualised rate of 3.6 per cent in December and 4.0 per cent in January.

Interestingly, I was talking yesterday to a banker at our seminar held in Bromley  who is involved in the lending band £1m to £25m and he was saying that the banks are generally willing to lend but there is a lack of demand.  Given the problems that debt has brought in the last few years it is not surprising that some small firms are not willing to borrow money given there does not seem to be an end in sight to the flat lining economy.  However, the Bank of England’s latest Credit Conditions survey said that “credit demand was expected to increase across all firm sizes in the second quarter, with significant increases expected for small and large companies”.  I am not sure what they think will be the driver for this??

Overall, net lending fell by £2.8 billion after a £0.3 billion decline in January, according to the central bank’s Trends in Lending report published today.

The Bank of England and the government set up the FLS in August 2012 to encourage banks to lend more to businesses and individuals but recent data has shown that it has not had a positive impact on lending to businesses.

Perhaps the new incoming Governor will have some fresh ideas!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Warning signs of insolvency for directors.


Top Ten Directors Insolvency Warning Signs ?
  1. Fire fighting - you don’t get your work done because of lack of focus. 
  2. Lack of information or wrong information and concentrating on non-essential issues. 
  3. Compartmentalising" problems - in other words do you deal with one creditor problem and ignore others? 
  4. Do you blame the bank? Your creditors? The customers (debtors)? Your accountants? Your advisors? In other words do you blame everyone except yourself for your cashflow pressure? 
  5. You don’t have a business plan. 
  6. You don’t have regular team, management and board meetings or up to date financial information. 
  7. You don’t like changes. 
  8. Directors are taking big salaries and expenses. 
  9. You think that one more sale, one more contract, one big customer payment will solve the cashflow problem? (It won’t)! 
  10. Really number one)! You have an overdrawn director’s current account. See a guide to this issue here: directors overdrawn current account in insolvency. 
Listen we know that it is a lonely place to be when a business becomes distressed. If you want to learn more about the situation you face use this site for full details of the options available, the legal obligations you face and the best way to deal with the problems the business faces.

DO NOT ignore the problems they will not go away unless you take proactive steps to deal with them. Please read Is my company insolvent? below or on the site.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Unemployment rises to 7.9%

See below an excellent infographic from the ONS

So what does it tell us?

Well it shows that statistics are interesting but it does not shed much light on the direction of the economy.  The actual number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance has actually fallen which the government will welcome.  More people (especially women) are entering the labour market which may well be the result of flat wages and moderate inflation which is squeezing  family incomes.  

Green Oil Plantations in administration


A SIPP provider, Green Oil Plantations, which raised in excess of £24m from private investors has gone into administration.  Individual investors minimum buy-in was £10,000 and they were taking money between March 2010 and January 2013

The UK investment scheme invested in an Australian plantation that was supposed to produce 'green oil'  ie biofuels.

The company experienced what it called "operational issues" with its first harvest and as such faced cash flow difficulties.

Simon Kirkhope and Chad Griffin of FTI Consulting have been appointed as joint administrators of Green Oil Plantations Limited and Green Oil Plantations (Australia) Limited.

Kirkhope, joint administrator, said, "Our priority is to maximise returns to investors and other creditors.
"We are working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority and the management of the plantation in Queensland, Australia to this end.
"We will be communicating further details to investors as soon as practicable."

These sort of investments are deemed to be high risk for UK investors.  Especially in this case where it was, in effect, a start-up operation in a foreign country.

Blogged by Robert Moore

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

J&H Construction latest construction firm to go into administration as sector shrinks

J & H Construction has gone into administration as the construction slowdown continues.  The firm, based in Leicestershire and founded in 2001, has appointed Mazars on the 5th April when it was decided that the business could no longer continue to trade.  As a result 50 full time and part time staff were made redundant.

Chandler said: "We are in the early stages of assessing the trading position but it appears the business owes just under £1m to creditors.

"The business has been another victim of the downturn in the construction sector and was unable to continue trading."

The business provided groundworks services for developers, including drainage, earthworks and civil engineering.
According to the (ONS) construction industry output fell by 7 per cent in February 2013 compared with February 2012.

If you want to see how we have helped construction businesses take a look at these case studies.

http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/case-studies/cva-case-studies/ksa-group-uses-a-company-voluntary-arrangement-cva-to-rescue-a-building-business-based-in-the-north-east

http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/case-studies/cva-case-studies/construction-company-successful-cva

Monday, 15 April 2013

A Construction Company CVA Case Study


Incorporated in June 2000 the company is a main contractor and sub-contractor in the construction industry operating within  both commercial and domestic new build and maintenance.

One of the directors contacted KSA after reading the website. KSA were appointed to assist the company on 14th August 2012. The directors had both experienced an insolvency situation with a previous company trading in the same sector.

Over ambitious forecasts in a CVA in 2003 led to the previous company having to go into liquidation.  This was after just 10 months.

In the year to June 2012, the company turnover was c. £800k whilst it made a loss of c. £64k

The company was experiencing financial difficulty due to the following.


  • Undercapitalisation,
  • Interrupted contracts,
  • Bad debts,
  • A highly competitive environment
  • Payments withheld c.£77k gross – after a period of arbitration the directors decided, in light of a potentially costly legal battle, to accept a greatly reduced payment of £14k

Read the case study below on how we rescued the company.





http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/case-studies/cva-case-studies/construction-company-successful-cva

Insolvency rates low with the IT sector the only industry seeing a rise.

According to Experian the IT sector was one of the very few sectors of the economy that has seen any rise in the number of insolvencies in February.

In total, the number of IT firms going bust in February 2013 stood at 89, as opposed to 69 in the same month last year.  Obviously these figures are quite small so are probably not very indicative of the overall trends.  The only other sections of the economy that saw a rise was the

Business services firms and construction also saw the number of failing firms in their sectors increase. The weather has hit construction and the government is still holding back on major projects.

In terms of the number of employees the only businesses that showed an increase in their insolvency rate compared with February 2012 were those with between 51 and 100 employees. They saw their rate rise from 0.12 per cent last year to 0.16 per cent in February 2013.  These figures are yet again very low and contrast with the 2.5% levels seen in 1992.  However it should be remembered that there are more smaller firms than there were at that time and at the moment there has been an increase in the number of registered businesses.

If your business is worried about insolvency then they should contact KSA Group and Company Rescue for help and advice.  We will not criticise you. We will just try and find a solution to your business problems.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

BHW goes into administration


BHW, the Wigan-based aerospace components firm, has been put into administration with the loss of 60 jobs.  Duff and Phelps have been appointed as the administrators.


They have made 64 of the firm's 153 staff redundant and are continuing to trade the business while they look for a buyer.

BHW supplies components to firms like Airbus and Bombardier and had sales of £11.4m in 2011 but recorded losses of £3.91m.

In 2007 BHW secured a £400,000 selective finance for investment (SFI) grant through the now defunct North West Development Agency. It was used to buy plant and equipment to fulfil a contract for the supply of parts for the Eclipse 500 private jet.

After selling BHW, Dudley-based Hampson filed for administration and delisted from the stock market.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

HMRC Online systems suffer computer glitch - RTI returns delayed

The online filing system for VAT was down over the weekend as the system was updated.  This also meant that there were delays in the submission of the first PAYE returns that were submitted using Real Time Information (RTI).  The update for the other online systems had been flagged back in January but many were left asking why HMRC had decided to do this massive update at the same time as launching RTI.

The governments record over many years with huge IT projects has not been good.
Police, DWP, NHS, New Passport System, ID Cards etc have all been problematic.

The RTI system is all bound together with the new Universal Credit form of benefits where the government will know how much you are earning and when and then pay benefits in line.  Mistakes will be a headache for all concerned

I am sure there are few crossed fingers between the people responsible.




Manufacturing output surges to help UK avoid triple dip

It is interesting that on the day that people are debating Mrs Thatcher's impact on manufacturing and other traditional industries the latest statistics highlight how important that the sector is to the economy.  Output from manufacturing rose by 0.8% which was twice what the economists were predicting and has helped the UK avoid the symbolic triple dip recession.

Exports to non EU countries are still down and this is a worry as the government has targeted these markets specifically.

The next big test will be whether the construction industry will be able to help the GDP figures as activity has been hampered by the recent bad weather.


Monday, 8 April 2013

CVA versus Pre Packs; The Great Debate


Date: Wed 8 May, 6pm
Venue: Nabarro LLP, Lacon House, 84 Theobalds Road, London WC1 8RW
Cost: TMA Members: FREE, Sponsors: £40.00 (after allocated free places),
Non-Members: £40.00

The Great Debate: Pre-Pack Administrations versus Company Voluntary Arrangements


With H.M. Government’s Insolvency Service planning yet another review of the ‘current practices’ regarding pre-packaged administration sales (pre-packs), this thorny subject once again comes under the spotlight. The Insolvency Service estimates that 25 per cent of all administrations are pre-packs, of which around 85 per cent are sold-on to parties already linked to the company.

At the same time the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) procedure, enshrined in law since 1986, remains a powerful and effective turnaround tool, yet less than 800 were entered into last year – a surprisingly low number for an economy full of stressed and distressed, debt- laden companies.

This evenings meeting, part of the nationwide activities of the TMA (UK) will commence with a welcome to Nabarro LLP - a new host & venue for the TMA (UK) - and an introduction to the evening’s presentations and debate.
Following this will be a presentation from a protagonist from each ‘camp’ who will argue the merits of their case accordingly.

In the pre-pack ‘corner’: David Dunckley, Partner, Grant Thornton plc and ‘standing up’ for CVAs: Keith Steven, Founder & CEO, KSA Group Ltd.

Opinions will be aired, questions - and perhaps voices - will be raised...........which instrument is legally more sound, commercially more effective or morally more correct? Should current legislation be amended on pre-packs? The Insolvency Service are proposing a 3-day notice period for creditors, does this negate the pre-pack concept? What is holding back the number of CVAs in use? Is the Insolvency Profession unduly biased, and if so, why?
A lively debate will no doubt ensure and attendees will be encouraged to participate during the questions & answers session.

Following this, and what may well be a welcome interlude before the debate spills over into the networking session, Alan Tilley, Principal - Bryan, Mansell & Tilley and Chair of the Standards & Admissions Committee (EACTP) will update the meeting on the recently launched EACTP (European Association of Certified Turnaround Professionals) accreditation programme.

Hospitality has been provided by this evenings event sponsor KSA Group Ltd.
 This evening’s speakers:
David DunkleyDavid Dunckley , Partner - Grant Thornton UK LLP
David is the Head of the National Mid-Market team in Grant Thornton's Advisory Practice. He specialises in advising underperforming businesses and their stakeholders.

David's experience includes both formal insolvency work, turnaround work, strategic business reviews, pre-lend reviews and due diligence assignments. Recent noteworthy assignments include administrator of Saab Great Britain Limited, St Luke’s Healthcare and the Castlebeck Group. David also recently completed the sale of Seymour Pierce via a pre-packaged sale.

David works across a wide range of industry sectors including automotive, healthcare and professional practices. He is a member of the firm's Professional Practices Group and regularly works with underperforming firms and their lenders.  Grant Thornton







Keith Steven, Founder & CEO - KSA Group Ltd
Keith Steven of KSA Group Ltd has been rescuing and turning-around companies since 1994; he has worked for insolvency firms, turnaround funds and venture capital investors. Keith formed his own turnaround practice, KSA Group Ltd in 2001, and he is acknowledged as an expert in the delivery of CVAs for SME companies faced with financial difficulties.

Keith Steven
Keith has contributed greatly to the understanding and application of CVAs through the numerous pages of advice and information contained on his various CVA-related websites; his CVA proposal ‘model’ is recognised by many in the industry as ‘best in class’. To put forward the case for CVAs in this evening’s presentation, Keith will draw upon those instances where a CVA was a better option than a pre-pack sale, and by which companies were successfully rescued for the long-term benefit of creditors, stakeholders, directors and employees.

KSA Group is one of the leading turnaround and insolvency specialists in the UK, with offices and representatives in London and across the country. Their priority is company rescue, not corporate closure. The company developed the UK's first on-line turnaround and support site,www.companyrescue.co.uk, with over 1,500 pages of free information, PDF guides, FAQ's, flowcharts and case studies - information freely available, and of great value, to directors and advisors of struggling businesses.

KSA Group is delighted to sponsor this evening’s event and is proud to be a Corporate Sponsor of TMA UK.


KSA

Venue:

Nabarro LLP
Lacon House
84 Theobalds Road
London
WC1 8RW

Please click here for map to location.


If you would like to come along please call Robert Moore on 020 7877 0050 or email robertm@ksagroup.co.uk

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Go Ballooning in liquidation not administration

Ballooning company 'GO Ballooning' has gone into liquidation according to a statement on its website. The company was one of the UK's largest hot air balloon flight suppliers with over a 100 launch sites throughout the country

 The statement reads "The Company is deeply saddened to advise that after successfully trading for over 25 years and flying many tens of thousands of customers we have had to take the very difficult decision to cease trading. The company has been and will continue to work with the liquidator to attempt to formulate a solution for customers."

More will be revealed on the 9th April

The customers will be unlikely to get refunds for rides purchased in advance and should contact the liquidator.  We do not know who the liquidator is at this stage but we advise looking at the website at http://www.goballooning.co.uk for any updates.

Joe Sadler, of Elwell Watchorn and Saxton LLP, had been appointed to handle the firms affairs. There will be a creditors meeting on the 24th April It is understood that the firm has taken some £1m in prepayments...

Webster Dixon LLP s98 Voluntary Liquidation Notice

Meeting of the Creditors of the above named LLP will be held at the offices of Radcliffes Le Brasseur, 5 Great College Street, London, SW1P 3SJ on 12 April 2013 at 12.00 pm

See full notice below;

http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/insolvency-notices/webster-dixon-liquidation-notice

Voices 4 Choices s98 Creditors Voluntary Liquidation Notice

Meeting of the Creditors of the above named Company will be held The Novotel, Wilsons Lane, Longford, M6 Junction 3, Coventry, CV6 6HL on 16 April 2013 at 12.00 pm

For full notice see below;

http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/insolvency-notices/voices-4-choices-s98-creditors-voluntary-liquidation-notice

How can I get a winding up petition dismissed


The court, which has the power to grant the winding up order, also has the power to dismiss the petition at the hearing at which the petition is presented.

A petition can be dismissed  if the judge can be persuaded that the company needs more time to come up with the money or that the amount of the debt is disputed. It may be that the company can come up with all the money owed at a later date, an example of this maybe the sale of a valuable asset such as a property is currently on the market so the money is not immediately available.

Please read our new page on company rescue  on how to dismiss a winding up petition

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

What if your business has problems paying VAT or PAYE ?


It is sometimes the case that directors blame HMRC for their business failure. In fact calculating tax owed is not a massive administrative burden especially on PAYE and it should not be in dispute.  As such the inability to pay it is more a reflection on the business viability. Inability to pay usually means the business is insolvent

As we have covered many times before, if the Revenue and Customs issues a petition it is almost invariably because it has run out of options. HMRC does NOT issue petitions unless it is a last resort and patience with the debtor has run out.   Alternatively HMRC may send a letter threatening distraint.  We are seeing this as a more common form of collection as the thought of bailiffs turning up on the premises focuses minds.

Generally, to get to that stage the debtor  needs to have regularly failed to pay PAYE, then asked for a Time to Pay Deal (TTP)These have usually failed and the debtor has asked for a new deal. Once again, because the directors fail to cut costs and drive change, it fails and once again a TTP has failed.

As a director, if the company has had a time to pay deal or deals which have failed and you cannot keep up with the demands of the HMRC for repayment, look at a company voluntary arrangement as a permanent long term solution.

For example if you owe £100,000 to HMRC, it will usually allow say 10 months to repay the arrears. That's £10k per month. Can your business generate enough profit, say £100k profits to pay £100k back in JUST 10 months?

Whereas in a CVA you may pay back, say, £1k per month for 60 months. Can you afford £1k per month? This is surely better than falsely promising to pay £10k?

In addition, a CVA allows rapid cost cutting, redundancies can be paid by Government, you can exit onerous contracts and remove problems like unwanted leases quickly.

So don't blame HMRC for the company's problems, more often than not solutions like a CVA are the best option and HMRC WILL SUPPORT THEM!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Metalrax sold in a pre pack administration


Metalrax has been sold in a pre pack administration to  the engineering group, Bowman Birmingham.

The group will trade as Arc Specialist Engineering and is backed by specialist private investors which have committed to a significant investment programme in the company.

See our news pages on Company Rescue where we first mentioned that the company was in difficulty.  There are more details on Metalrax

Businesses still not ready for change to PAYE


Real Time Information (RTI), will come into force on 6th April, at which point all firms that employ staff, regardless of numbers, need to have new payroll software installed and will need to report monthly in the first instance and weekly ( if wages paid weekly from October )

In a poll carried out by The FPB last week it showed 18% of employers are still classifying themselves as "not prepared". The study also revealed 60% were ready, with the remaining 21% saying RTI was not relevant to them i.e. they employed no staff.

"It's quite clear that there are businesses out there still not ready even at this late stage. The message we would like to get out there now, even at this point, is that it's still not too late to get on board for RTI - the ship has not sailed," said the group's head of policy, Alex Jackman.

"We know it can seem a daunting prospect to small firms, but it's just not an option to do nothing. Better to act now than have a phone call from an unhappy tax man after 6th April, and that could happen."

One aspect that is very important is that all the details of the employees needs to be correct.  The correct national insurance number is crucial now and the date of birth of all employees.  This may seem obvious and trivial stuff but if there are any errors it will cause problems down the line.

Most importantly if your business in the past has under reported PAYE payments owed in the hope that business would  pick up by the year end will no longer have this option available to them.

See our page on RTI and how it will affect struggling businesses


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