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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: transfers to Enforcement and Insolvency Services (EIS): Review status of customer

It is essential that HMRC pursue the correct legal entity or responsible person. The impact of pursuing the wrong legal entity is embarrassing to the Department and can involve significant compensation claims as well as non-recoverable costs.

Status of customer

Confirm for example:

  • whether the customer is an individual, company or partnership?
  • whether changes to the legal entity notified have been acted on?
  • full name, if the customer is an individual or partner.

For companies, confirm details of their registered office either:

  • through FAME
  • as shown on Companies House records or by phoning Companies House on 0303 1234 5000.

If the company has ceased trading but is still live on Companies House records, there must be clear benefits to proceeding with insolvency action, such as assets or evidence of wrongdoing by company officials that requires investigation by the Insolvency Service (see DMBM685210). If insolvency action is appropriate, note the directors’ or Company Secretary’s residential address(es) on IDMS.

If on the Companies House records / Companies Registry records, the company number is preceded by IP or FS, it is an Industrial and Provident Society or a Friendly Society, and insolvency action may not be appropriate. Check the records of Industrial and Provident / Friendly Societies for their registered address at the FSA Mutuals Public Register; see DMBM585160 and DMBM585165. If in doubt, contact EIS for advice.

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Trading position

Confirm for example whether:

  • the customer is still trading
  • the individual has been made bankrupt by another creditor
  • the company has been wound up, struck off the Register of Companies or dissolved.

Company is ceased / there is an intention to strike off / been struck off or dissolved

If the case meets the insolvency action selection criteria (see DMBM685210), discuss it with EIS. If there is a notice of intention to strike off on Companies House, you should arrange for HMRC to object to it as a matter of urgency following the guidance at DMBM552100 and DMBM605140.

Company is wound-up

See INS2105, INS2107 and INS12302.