HomeFWJ takeawayTakeawayCompany rescueBusiness recovery and rescueWhat to do if you receive an HMRC winding up order

A winding up order for non payment of taxes can be frightening. But there are always things which can be done - negotiated settlements, company restructuring, disputing the claim, seeking business funding or applying for a validation order as just some of the choices. Let our experts help.

When faced with an HMRC winding up order, you should take immediate steps to alleviate the worst of the damage.

A winding up petition can quickly result in a company’s bank accounts being frozen and seriously affecting its ability to trade, take on credit and can result in suppliers demanding to be paid cash on delivery. A winding up order can also lead to significant adverse publicity.

Therefore, if you receive an HMRC winding up order, the key is to

  • take immediate legal advice to work out whether the debt is due and if so, whether you can pay it. At Francis Wilks & Jones we have in-house experts including Andy Lynch who worked at HMRC for 18 years. We have the ability firstly to review the claim for the debt and work out if it is all genuinely due. On occasions, HMRC do get the wrong amounts in an HMRC winding up order.
  • once that process has been completed, the key is try and negotiate repayments with the HMRC, particularly if your company has difficulty in paying the HMRC winding up petition in one go. The HMRC can be difficult to deal with but we have the experience of negotiating repayment plans with HRMC to avoid the worst of a winding up order being made.

It is important to understand that 7 working days after the service of the HMRC winding up order, the petition can be advertised in the London Gazette. If the winding up order is advertised in the London Gazette, this is when it becomes public knowledge and can hugely damage your company. It is difficult to know whether in any particular instance the HMRC will advertise the winding up petition but it is always a danger and one worth trying to avoid.

On occasion, the debt simply doesn’t add up and in those circumstances, you may consider an injunction to prevent the advertisement of the winding up petition. We have those experts in-house who can help prepare the injunction papers to prevent a winding up order being made.

The importance is to take quick action if you receive an HMRC winding up order. Not dealing with it can lead to very drastic consequences.


Our expert team of winding up petition solicitors at Francis Wilks & Jones are here to help you with if you have been served (or threatened with) an HMRC winding up petition. Contact one of our team of expert friendly winding up petition lawyers now for your free and confidential consultation. Whatever your winding up petition requirements, we are the experts to help you.

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