Call 0191 303 7170 (Mon to Sun 8am to 10pm)|enquiries@robsonscott.co.uk

Directors Help

What are illegal dividends?

Illegal dividends, or unlawful dividends as they are also known, is when there are insufficient retained profits within the company to cover the dividend being paid. The technical definitions of this can be found at Section 830 of the Companies Act 2006 and reads as follows: “A company’s profits available for distribution are its accumulated, realised profits, so far as not previously utilised by distribution or capitalisation, less its accumulated, realised losses, so far as not previously written off in a reduction or reorganisation of capital duly made.” Dividends vs Salary A director of an owner managed business, where they are the sole director and shareholder, may ask why not just keep things simply and just receive a salary. The popularity of the split between dividends and salary is due to the tax benefits this arrangement achieves:

Retention of Title Guide for Directors

Retention of Title or ROT as it is more commonly known is an instrument in supply of goods contracts whereby the supplier will attempt to take security over assets provided by retaining legal ownership until payments has been received. If you have been unable to pay a creditor and they are no longer willing to wait for their money they may approach you or turn up at your premises advising they have ROT a demand to remove their goods. It should be noted that the courts have repeatedly confirmed the onus is on the supplier to ensure the clauses and validly constructed, incorporated and enforced. Therefore, if they are being overly aggressive they may be trying to ensure you do not have time to take advice.This guide will advise you on common pitfalls and how […]

Practical steps to take prior to closing my company

All insolvency practices will take you through the legal steps, but it is also important to consider the practical steps that you should take to achieve the best outcome, both for creditors and for you. HM Revenue & Customs You should firstly ensure that you have completed all outstanding returns for PAYE, Corporation Tax, VAT and any other industry specific taxes you are required to pay. This will act to limit the liabilities to HMRC by reducing any outstanding penalties and actual return amounts are usually lower than the assessments that will be raised by HM Revenue & Customs. In particular bringing PAYE records up to date and arranging for P45 returns to be submitted will make claiming outstanding entitlements from the […]

Directors’ redundancy – can I claim?

Can directors claim redundancy following liquidation? Directors’ redundancy entitlements have historically been  difficult to successfully claim for. It used to be the case that directors were unable to make redundancy claims from the government-backed National Insurance Fund (NIF) where they were also controlling shareholders. The NIF is managed by the Insolvency Service and provides statutory payments for employees that have been made redundant. However, contrary to much popular belief, the position for directors has changed in recent years. This applies even where a director is the sole director and shareholder of the company.   Case law: Secretary of State V Knight The current case law relies on the court of appeal finding in the matter of Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills v Knight.   The respondent in this appeal was the sole shareholder […]

New HMRC cash grab

Under new proposals announced in the Budget 2014 small print, the taxman will be able to access personal and business bank accounts to directly take any arrears of tax you may owe. How will it work? If you, or your business owes more than £1,000 in arrears of tax (inclusive of all forms of personal or business taxation), you could be at risk. Under new proposals due to come into force in April 2015, HMRC will be able to dip into bank accounts. They will not require a court order, nor will they have to issue formal proceedings – as long as they have sent reminders chasing tax arrears. So if you or your business owe more than £1,000 and have been sent correspondence from HMRC, under the new proposals, cash can be taken directly from your bank accounts to settle HMRC debts. HMRC will be required to leave a minimum of […]
  • Directors Disqualification proposals reviewed
    Permalink Gallery

    Fines for Disqualified Directors? A view from within our industry…

Fines for Disqualified Directors? A view from within our industry…

At a speech given this month, The Right Honourable Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has flagged the Government’s intention to bring in legislation to commence fining disqualified directors, and in doing so puts forward an appealing perspective. On closer inspection of the current system, the fining of directors seems to be wallpaper covering the cracks of the real issues in dealing with directors guilty of dishonest business practice. He has conveniently ignored the white elephants which are actually preventing the director disqualification process from being as strong a deterrent as it could be. Firstly, under-funding. The Insolvency Service is the government body tasked with bringing disqualification proceedings against directors, yet its funding has been cut by 40%. This has manifested itself in that the number of directors reported for dishonesty to the Insolvency Service has risen by over 20% in the past three years, whilst the […]

Personal Guarantees

There are several firms that have cropped up within the last few years offering to negotiate or write off your bank or trade personal guarantees. Their fees vary greatly, as in our experience, does their success rate. Many of our clients have given personal guarantees, either to banks, finance companies, trade accounts, or to support asset purchases.  These personal guarantees ‘crystallise’, or in other words they become payable when they default on their agreements, or enter a formal insolvency, so its important for our clients to know that when we are assisting them, we are looking at all of their debt, including guarantees. So how do we go about this? How does it work? First of all, you need a ‘catch all’ plan to deal with the problems within your business – that’s where we can fit in. Robson Scott assesses the current state of your business, and works out with you, […]

Help for Directors – Pt 1

Director’s Disqualification By way of introduction, I have written this piece to highlight the various pitfalls and knock-on effects commonly seen by Directors whose business has gone through a formal insolvency process. Due to the scope of the assignment, I have broken the blog into two parts, Director’s Disqualification and ‘Directors Being Sued’. This first part will concentrate on the why’s and wherefores of disqualification proceedings, detailing how common they are, the potential effects of disqualification and concluding with advice on how to proceed if there is a chance this affects you. The second part will deal with what happens when directors are sued by Insolvency Practitioners. It looks at the types of action that can be brought by liquidators and administrators against directors, shareholders, and even their families, and examines ways to lessen their effect. Director’s Disqualification Process When a company enters into either Creditors Voluntary Liquidation, Compulsory Liquidation or Administration, the […]

Management of bad debts

It’s a fact of business life that your business will suffer bad debt. It’s also a fact that most of the paperwork you receive informing you of the bad debt and the subsequent insolvency proceedings can be somewhat difficult to understand. Also, if you’ve received the insolvency paperwork, you’re not getting paid, right? Not necessarily…. The North East Business Support Scheme (NEBSS) has been set up by Robson Scott Group to provide a service to North East businesses to manage and maximise their returns from insolvent customers. We will review the paperwork, and give you a clear, concise outline of the process (whether that be Pre-pack Administration, Liquidation, Company Voluntary Arrangement “CVA”, or an “IVA”). We will then contact the insolvency practice dealing with the case, and come back to you with a realistic appraisal as to whether you will get your money back, if so, how much and when. We will […]