The HMRC applied to shut down 4,160 businesses in 2018, due to these UK businesses having “fallen behind” on their tax payments last year. according to new statistics by Funding Options.
The report cited that HMRC has been too aggressive in their approach when shutting down businesses.
Conrad Ford, CEO of Funding Options. said “The high number of applications to shut businesses is especially concerning, given the tough trading conditions caused by Brexit uncertainty and slowing economic growth.”

“HMRC continues to take a hard-line approach, despite businesses facing tough economic headwinds.”

“While HMRC has eased back from last year, when they tried to shut down 4,700 businesses, it should be looking to give them even more leeway.” “HMRC will close businesses if they think that’s the best way to get the money they are owed, so business owners must have an action plan ready.”

“Winding up petitions are used by HMRC to shut down a business that has not been able to pay its bills on time. HMRC is able to liquidate a business’ assets once it is wound up, which it can then sell on to cover the outstanding tax owed.”

The report said that there are ways for HMRC to be more sympathetic to smaller businesses that are struggling, instead of immediately applying for the liquidation of these SMEs. One example of this is the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme—this gives taxpayers the ability to spread their overdue tax payments over longer periods of time. It was a method that was popular when helping to guide SMEs through the last recession.

The report also acknowledged that the HMRC applied to wind up 11.5 per cent fewer firms last year than in 2017.