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Potential New Client - Limited Company struck off without submitting accounts and still being used by client

Potential New Client - Limited Company struck...

An Australian national came to the UK in August 2008 and signed up with an accountant specialising in antipodean clients. The accountant formed a VAT registered limited company for the client who has been using it for CIS work ever since.

The client says he has only ever had sporadic communication with the accountant and has now discovered the accountant himself has gone back to New Zealand with no ongoing contact details. From looking at Companies House website, the company was struck off in March 2010 - presumably by Co. House themselves after no annual return was submitted.

The registered office address is still showing that of the accountants and the client has not been forwarded anything from HMRC in respect of CT. The client thought his accountant was taking care of what needed doing and has no idea what's happened in respect of PAYE/CIS operation or end of year submissions. He is, however, in correspondence with the VAT office about late returns/arrears so they obviously have his correct details on file.

To complicate matters further, the client had no idea the company was struck off and has been happily issuing invoices for work done and recieving money into the limited company bank account as recently as last week!

The client is keen to put his affairs in order and do whatever needs to be done but it's an odd scenario so it would be helpful to get some background as to what would be involved before I decide to take the client on, specifically in terms of:

- How to account to HMRC for the income/profits earned now that the company is struck off

- Dealing with the VAT debt in this situation

- Obligations in respect of P35 returns

- The legal status regarding the company bank account


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08th Jul 2010 16:03

Company struck off

You have 3 choices


If it is a recent striking off you need send the following to Companies House

1. Form RT01 plus £100

2. HMRC waiver plus £70

3. Whatever documents are not filed Annual Return, accounts etc


Consult a solicitor and get a Court Order


Start another company,which is a lot easier and cheaper


I am surprised the bank allow the account still to be operational as they are normally v quick about picking up Winding Up Petitions and Strikings Off. Don't forget any money in the bank account at the moment belongs to the Crown so you need to move fast.





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09th Jul 2010 09:21

As above

A B and C above are correct. However in reality I would just start again with a new company - MUCH easier. In my experience if you write to HMRC and explain whats happened they will just stop writing to the company, as they realise they are wasting their time too.

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09th Jul 2010 11:49


if you decide on the newco route, you will almost certainly need to PG or stump up  a bond -  re HMRC for VAT + PAYE before they register newco with the same individual as director/shareholder.  So be careful with this option. newco sharholding in a trustee name for a while?   and a"friend" as a director ?

intersting to know approx how much vat / paye / ct / and personal tax arrears relate to old co,  if minute excluding fines and penalties and especially if there are large reserves + cash - maybe worth option court resurrection

and yes get the dosh out of the bank in old co asap - really surprised bank has not already  put all accounts movements [ and ccards] on stop

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09th Jul 2010 13:45

Thanks for the advice

I don't know the extent of the liabilities as yet and I'm going to suggest the client write to the local CT and VAT offices to advise them of the situation. I was surprised to hear the bank hadn't closed the account as I've seen them sending out letters in the past when a company is in the process of being struck off.

I haven't come across HMRC asking for a bond agaisnt future liabilities in a newco - is this pretty standard in cases of arrears?

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09th Jul 2010 14:26


Unfortunately it has become more prevalent recently and is now usual particularly in the circumstances you outline as HMRC will think you are taking advantage of the situation

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05th Aug 2010 10:25

If company bank assets have been frozen and are going to the cro

If due to the company being struck off the company assets have been frozen and are headed to the crown (a.k.a 'Bona Vacantia') then your only option to retrieve the money transferred to the crown via the courts. I went through this about 7-8 years ago, I shut down my first limited company and the company bank account informed me that it was ok for me to continue using the bank account associated with my company that had been shut down (I was grossly misinformed). Of course the company was shut down properly and almost a year later (without being informed) the assets were transferred to the Treasury almost overnight (thousands of poinds).


To retrieve the money I had to get a sollicitor, it had to go to the high court to apply to have the company re-instated and opened for a day or so, have the money transferred back into the company account which was then unfrozen (take the money out of the company account) and then shut down the company again. At the High court this was an informal procedure but the judge can say 'no'. For me it all went smoothly, this was 7-8 years ago (or so). The company that did it for me was, they seem to be more of a compay credit report company but the guy who helped me there is still there it seems going by their website, it cost me £750.00 for the whole procedure, it took less than 2 months and I retreived a fortune which I had lost and was very angry about.

What got me is that I wasn't informed or warned about any of this either by the accountant or Companies House or my business account representatives.

Another interesting thing I found RECENTLY is that with my new limited company I've been using, my accountant notived on the companies house website that the Annual Return had not been 'updated', I had submitted it on time and with payment. But upon further inspection the cash had not been cashed but Companies House HAD recevieved it months ago. Turns out that  the accountant made a minor omission on the Companies House Annual Return BUT Companies House never wrote to me or warned me about any of this it gave me only DAYS before I frantically had to refile the Annual Return otherwise my company would have been in the initial process of being STRUCK OFF.   This I found very similar to the Australian chap (the theme of this thread above) who was totally unaware that this was occuring.

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