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This is the place to ask questions about winding up
#21388
Hi

I think it is possible that HMRC may wind up our company. I am not to bothered about this as under the current trading conditions it is impossible to make it work. If HMRC do carry out their threat and wind it up is there any possible way that we as directors could be liable for the outstanding HMRC debts. We did not give any directors personal guarantees as far as i am aware. Many thanks for any advice.
#21401
Hello Longshot and welcome to the Company Debt forum.

If your company is wound up then on the face of it the directors are not liable for any Tax or VAT debt owed to HMRC. Having said that once the liquidator is appointed, one of their jobs will to be to carry out a report about the conduct of the directors. If the liquidator feels you are possibly guilty of wrongful trading then they will submit this in their report which will be sent to the insolvency service. If the Insolvency Service decide to pursue this and you are found to have traded wrongfully, you could then become personally liable for some of the HMRC debt. However this is generally very rarely found to be the case.
#21411
Hi Longshot

This is a question that we are asked often and the answer is quite catagorically no. A Director is not personally liable for a limited company debt unless they have given a personal guarantee. Recently I have heard many people saying that HMRC are using what can only be described as bully boy tactics to suggest that directors are personally liable to pay outstanding company debt. However the fact is that HMRC cannot legally take action against a director personally.

As Steve has said the only way this could happen is if HMRC first wind up the company and then pursuade the liquidator to pursue the directors for wrongful trading. However generally speaking wrongful trading has not occured and will not be held up.
#21415
Thanks for your advice. How quickly do you think HMRC will act to wind up the company? They told me a month ago that if payment was not received then they would take further action but since then I have not heard anything. I have read that they might decide to use a bailiff? How would that work as the company address was my home address and there were no assets. It was a web design company.
#21420
Hi there Longshot

It is always difficult to say how long it will take for HMRC to carry out a threat of legal action. Generally speaking if they intend to wind up the company they will first issue a statutory demand for the full payment of the debt. If they have not yet done this then they may be contemplating bailiff action first. If a bailiff does come to your home address you should be polite but firm. You should not let them in. Simply tell them that the company has no assets and say you will deal directly with HMRC about the debt. They may visit more than once but this should always be the response you give. After 2-3 tries they will have to give up. They cannot break into your home.