Over half (54%) of insolvency practitioners believe that HMRC makes it harder to rescue businesses than wind them up, according to a survey of the insolvency profession by R3, the insolvency trade body.
On top of that, nearly three-in-four (71%) insolvency practitioners say that HMRC has made the insolvency process harder to manage in the last few years. Only 10% said HMRC was ‘helpful’ when it comes to business rescue.
Some startling results emerged about the less than “helpful” HMRC from the survey including:-
- Insolvency practitioners estimate that 33% of the estimated 480,000 letters and forms they send to HMRC for a year’s worth of cases are duplicates of lost or ignored post, or are copies of letters that have to be sent to multiple HMRC addresses. This is the equivalent to approximately 160,000 excess forms and letters for a year’s worth of new cases.
- Over 54% of insolvency practitioners had to wait over three months for clearance from HMRC to close their last case; 25% waited between six months and a year.
- 49% of insolvency practitioners had to wait longer than 15 minutes the last time they called HMRC before their call was answered/cut off/they hung up; 25% waited over half an hour.
- 43% of insolvency practitioners have had requests for information from HMRC – to which they were entitled as Office Holders – rejected.
HMRC estimates that it loses up to £4bn a year as a result of insolvent businesses and individuals being unable to pay tax bills. This is equivalent to just over 10% of the total ‘tax gap’. So as a profession we say that if the government improved its way of working with us – the more chance they would have of shrinking the tax gap.
For details on our HMRC debt management, visit: http://blog.bcr-insolvency.co.uk/hmrc-debt-management