Hi, sorry for the unusual posting style my 'enter' key has stopped working! A prospective new client has been royally turned over by one of her former accountants - a second Accountant (Bookkeeper really) has fixed the situation in terms of bringing returns up to date (2 years of VAT returns for example) and the bill/fines have now landed! We assisted one of her friends in negotiating with HMRC on APN's and Settlement Notices so have been introduced. There is no money to be made here but the guy who introduced us is a significant introducer so we want to help. The outstanding bill is made up of unpaid VAT and Corporation Tax from a company in which the client is 100% shareholder and sole director and although I haven't seen full site of the books or accounts the money must have been paid as dividends (although struggling to see how there isn't a s455 under these circumstances). She has verbally agreed to pay this back and HMRC have been very threatening in enforcing this agreement. My question is simple; although I have never before suggested it to a client could she not just pay what she can afford and wait until HMRC are either a) paid off or b) forced to make the business insolvent and she is pursued personally for any loans/incorrect dividend payments by the IP? This would at least have the benefit of giving her some breathing space to raise the money and (although unclear on this point) would only be to the extent of the dividends/s455 drawn and would not include the fines as they would attach to the company. From her personal point of view a) how much time would this be likely to buy and b) would the IP be likely to give her a sensible time scale to pay the bill (she has two rental properties that she does not want to lose)? Finally would she be likely to get a more generous and longer time to pay if this options was discussed with HMRC in advance?