Firstly, thank you to all the readers who have sent me messages of support and indeed asking me how the meeting went. So, here is the summary.
Not sure why I was feeling nervous, possibly as the meeting was in a building that I had worked at 3 times so there was some fear I may see someone I know. I had all my letters and evidence in a folder and felt prepared but why the nervousness? In reality, I should have been excited but the wait in the reception room made it worse. I also wondered if the 2 receptionists looked at me and knew I was another person who couldn’t pay their bills, another loser if you will. But, I digress….
The meeting was an 85% success. I cannot include ALL the tax debt, but most of it. So, basically I can apply for Insolvency and in effect not pay £20,000 in tax debt. I would need to pay the other £5000 as it counts as ‘personal tax liability’, but I can tackle that better than tackling £25,000. The cost of the procedure is £4500 as well, which I need to pay up front but that may have been sorted if I can swallow my pride.
The explanation was really clear, my limited company will be wound up and not myself personally and the insolvency is only advertised (is advertised an appropriate word? shamed would be better!) in the London papers. I don’t live in London so that is not a problem. I also received the clarification that it will not affect my job and I did not need to disclose it either.
Moving on to the plan.
I have to provide a mountain of information, all readily available from my accountant. Interestingly, you need 2 creditors to apply for insolvency. One is the HMRC, the other will be my accountant as I will no longer be allowed to pay them as the business bank account will be suspended. I also need to provide a timeline of went wrong, but keep to the facts and resist the urge to state how the HMRC have made my life a living hell. Some other documents and ID as well are needed, but all manageable.
I also have to type up a board meeting, with minutes, whereby the shareholders agree to wind up the company. This is purely admin as I am the only shareholder/director so it just for show.
The person I met was extremely helpful, I think she could see how broken I was. I am not putting this in here to give you all an image and to feel sorry for me either, this really has been a nightmare for me and I have a lost of lot because of it. Both on a personal and health level.
The summary is that next Thursday I have my follow up meeting, pay the money, sign lots of things and it is taken out of my hands and into the Insolvency Act. The whole thing takes 3-6 months but in that time the HMRC cannot contact me, cannot fine me and cannot charge interest. I have handed over all my letters, that was a relief. I have been hiding them away so I didn’t have to see them. After that meeting, everything is in motion.
I was surprised how many meeting the team have, but for bigger companies than me. Would you like to know the main reason these companies have had to ask for advise or apply for liquidation and/or bankruptcy? HMRC FINES!!! Oh how I understood, it is largely what made me unable to pay everything off. I never imagined actual trading companies were in the same boat as someone like me. Strangely it made me feel better, less like I was being singled out.
I feel a little better, but until I get the official letters I will remain guarded. The fact is though, I should have done this ages ago.