Case records: maintaining case records: dealing with potential strike offs
Company dissolution or striking off
Companies House removes a company from the Register because it has either failed to file mandatory documents at Companies House or has asked to be removed from the Register. This is known as dissolution or striking off.
Companies House give advance notice of its intention to remove a company from the Register and creditors then have up to two months to object to the striking off.
If an objection is made, Companies House delay the striking off for a further six months to allow creditors time to pursue the collection of debts and do not issue any reminders before striking the company off.
Once a company has been removed from the Register, it ceases to exist and creditors can no longer pursue debts or resolve any issues they may have had with the company.
A director of a company may send you a copy of the Companies House form DS01, which is the application for striking off. As we have a process in place for dealing with potential strike offs, you can destroy the form without taking any action.
Companies House email alerts
RIS cannot identify all cases where there is a risk, particularly where interventions are taking place, so case owners need to be alert to potential striking off.
The Companies House website offers a free email service that notifies any change to the Companies House record. The service is confidential and companies are unaware of who requests or receives the emails.
Case owners registering for the service are alerted to an intention to strike off and can quickly raise an objection if needed.
Overview of the process
The CT Process team in CTIS work with RIS to produce Excel© spreadsheets showing the cases being considered for dissolution. They are normally produced around the second week of the month and are put into a Controlled Access Folder (CAF) to which Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) have access. CT Services then have one month to review and identify relevant cases and lodge an objection.
Spreadsheets for specialist MUIDs
A spreadsheet is produced for each MUID in specialist PT, Special Investigations, Criminal Investigations and the Large Business Service. All companies being considered for dissolution are shown on the spreadsheet, which is sorted so the oldest cases are shown first. These cases are not risk assessed before being placed in the CAF.
Spreadsheets for non specialist MUIDs
Spreadsheets are produced for these MUIDs, but because of the large volume of cases, only those exhibiting one or more agreed risks appear on the lists. These risks are assigned a risk trigger letter A, B, C and so on. The purpose and parameter for each trigger letter is regularly reviewed to make sure we apply our resources to the riskiest cases.
For example, risk trigger A applies to cases where there are CT arrears of more than a specified limit. Risk trigger E applies where one or more APs on COTAX have an open ‘enquiry in progress’ signal set.
No reminders before strike off after end of objection period
As Companies House do not republish notices of intent to strike off at the end of the objection period, we have a renewals process to make sure that existing objections are maintained where appropriate.
For cases identified from the RIS profile, we re-profile the cases to see if a risk still exists. We do this monthly and advise SPOCs by email. Business areas and CT Services have one month to review and renew objections in relevant cases.
For cases not originally identified by RIS but through a Compoanies House email alert, we identify the cases and place them in a CAF for SPOCs to pick up and pass back to their teams for review. Again, we do this monthly and advise the SPOCs.
Our processes and communications must be co-ordinated effectively to avoid cases being missed. HMRC’s objection to strike off is usually made because a company is under enquiry. That may relate to CT, but it can equally apply to interventions under other heads and duty such as VAT. Compliance staff and tax specialists must therefre object to strike off where there is any ongoing intervention, to give time to establish the correct liabilities and to protect HMRC’s position.
All communications to Companies House regarding objections to strike off are managed centrally by CT Services.
Objections from all heads of duty must be sent using the standard CT Services spreadsheet in the prescribed format in order to avoid rejection. This automatically captures the user’s PID so they can be contacted in the event of other objections or the need for a renewed objection.
To nominate a SPOC, you should email Carter, Alison (CTIS). The current list of SPOCs is available on the CT Process intranet site.