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Debt Advice Centre

Welcome to Bridgewood's new Debt Advice Centre. Over the coming months we will be adding posts covering common topics and answering questions that we get from clients on a regular basis.

Our most recent posts are listed below or you can use the categories, tags and search facilities on the right to find the information you are looking for.

If you can't find an answer to your question here, or simply need some specific debt advice then please don't hesitate to give us a call on 0800 987 1040

Recent Posts

What can you expect in a HMRC Tax Inspection?


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has in recent years increased its focus on limited companies, as the government attempts to recover lost tax revenue and penalise or discourage companies from tax evasion.

Unfortunately, a business cannot eliminate the threat of a tax investigation and can be chosen at random for a routine check, but some may be targeted by HMRC for a number of different reasons. This can be a lengthy, expensive and often painful experience for the business and their accountant.

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How to Reduce the Threat of Insolvency


Running a business can often be challenging and a downturn in the market or the loss of a major client can result in the threat of insolvency.  For some businesses, it may already be too late to avoid this however, seeking early advice from a professional, and exploring all options, may help you save the business.

In this article we examine a wide range of possible options available to directors, wishing to minimise the risk of insolvency.

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Members’ Voluntary Liquidation – A guide to liquidating a solvent company


 A Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is a formal process for bringing the life of a limited company to an end and distributing the remaining assets to shareholders in the most tax efficient way. This can be done for reasons of retirement, an intractable shareholder dispute or simply because the company is no longer needed. The company must be solvent – i.e. it can afford to pay all of its creditors including any tax becoming due and still have funds left for the shareholders.

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To Liquidate or Strike Off an Insolvent Company?


Closing down an insolvent company can seem like a minefield, and it is often difficult to navigate your way through all the jargon.  In this article we discuss the differences between dissolution (strike off) and liquidation (winding up), and outline the key features of each option.

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The difference between Liquidation and Administration

We’re often asked about the difference between Liquidation and Administration and when one should be used over the other. They’re both formal insolvency procedures to help address a company that is insolvent, but there are significant differences between the two.

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Changes to IR35 and the impact on Personal Service Companies (PSCs)


The amount of tax contractors pay through their Personal Service Companies (PSCs) has been on the radar of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for some time.  Intermediaries’ legislation and subsequent changes, most recently this April, are requiring contractors to make decisions about whether or not to continue trading through a limited company.  In some cases clients are now being forced to move onto payroll without having time to plan an appropriate closure of their limited company, which may cause issues especially if the company still has a significant tax liability.

Bridgewood has been advising contractors and working alongside accountants in this area for some time, and in this article we discuss the implications of IR35 and explore what options contractors have, should their company need to cease trading.
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Key changes to insolvency rules in April 2017


The most significant changes to insolvency legislation (in England & Wales) in the last three decades will be introduced on the 6th April 2017, aimed at modernising and updating present procedures. The Insolvency Act was introduced in 1986 and any existing rules and amendments will be consolidated into a single piece of legislation, which should streamline systems and communication.

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Personal Liability Notice (PLN) – When can Directors be personally liable?

One of the main reasons people choose to incorporate their business into a limited company (Ltd) is for the extra protection this corporate structure affords the individual.  Incorporation helps separate the individual owner(s) and the business financially, so the business becomes an entity in its own right.

However, Section 64 of the Social Security Administration Act 1998 gives HM Revenue & Customs the power to issue a Personal Liability Notice (PLN) to hold those behind the company personally liable in certain situations.
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Who gets paid first in a Company Liquidation?


There are two ways an insolvent company can be liquidated – either voluntarily by the directors instructing an Insolvency Practitioner to convene the relevant meetings of shareholders and creditors; or compulsorily, by a creditor petitioning at court for the winding up of the company. In both cases it may well be that there are sufficient assets realised into the liquidation for payments to be made to some or all creditors. However there is a strict hierarchy in place which dictates the order within which creditors are paid and the aim of this briefing note is to provide an overview of the order of payments.

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Understanding Transactions at an Undervalue and Preferences when a Company is Insolvent


When a company is insolvent and the Directors believe it has no future, they should be careful before entering in to transactions or making payments to creditors and stakeholders, which are not in the interest of the company.  A Liquidator or Administrator (also referred to as the Office Holder) has a duty to investigate such transactions or payments, and has the power to apply to the court to set them aside if necessary.

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