One-Man Company Moved Abroad - What Can HMRC Do?
A client has a one-man company that ceased trading in autumn of 2010, though the company has not yet been struck off. The previous accountant had never filed any CT returns (3 years' worth) covering the entire period of trading. So, we prepared returns and the striking-off form and sent to the client, who has now permanently moved abroad (to Australia). Owing to being caught up in the Queensland floods he has only recently returned the signed CT returns, etc. HMRC are chasing outstanding CT, based on estimated assessments, though with the returns filed the actual tax due will be somewhat higher.
Question is this: if the client, despite our advice, chooses to be - shall we say - "extremely tardy" in paying the tax, what recourse does HMRC have to collect it? I seem to recall that if it was a personal liability (and he has paid his personal tax), then some sort of reciprocal arrangement exists between HMRC and their counterparts in some foreign jurisdictions, but what happens in the case of a company with a sole director/shareholder who has permanently emigrated? I would assume by now that the registered office is returning all post to sender - originally everything was supposed to have been cleared up by now and the company struck off, so I expect the current occupants of the address will be getting personal visits from HMRC's goons.
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