HMRC closing down firms left right and centre to claw in tax

Ben Southwood
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HER MAJESTY’S Revenue and Customs ratcheted up its tough stance on tax in the last tax year, according to data released this morning.

HMRC tried to shut down 5,302 firms during the 2011-12 tax year, Wilkins Kennedy revealed, an explosion of 57 per cent compared to 2010-11’s 3,367 applications.

“When businesses run into trouble, often one of the first things they do is try to delay tax payments to help manage their cashflow,” said Wilkins Kennedy partner Anthony Cork. “This puts businesses on a collision with HMRC.”

Cork said this tough approach was sharply at odds with the more sympathetic approach tax collectors took during the earlier stages of the slump.

He put the change in tack down to a need to dispel an image that they are soft or a “lender of first resort”, as well as due to government pressures to bring in more tax revenues.