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HMRC internal manual

Bona Vacantia Guidance

Bona Vacantia: Meaning of ‘bona vacantia’

‘Bona vacantia’ is a Latin term that means ‘ownerless goods’.

By law, bona vacantia goes to the Crown via the appropriate recipient body [see BVG1040] .

In particular, under company law, rights and property of a company which has been dissolved are bona vacantia.

That includes the right to a tax refund from HMRC.

If the company had no right to a tax refund - for example, because its claim was fraudulent - then its alleged right did not exist and is therefore not ‘bona vacantia’.

You will find background information about bona vacantia on the internet.