New Tax Rules for Members’ Voluntary Liquidations – Deadline 5th April 2016

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The UK Government is concerned that the current capital distribution regime is being used as a tax avoidance measure and therefore has brought about new legislation, effective from 6th April this year, which will impact companies who are distributing funds to non-corporate shareholders using the MVL process.

From 6th April 2016 a MVL process cannot be used for tax advantage purposes and the beneficiaries of a distribution cannot be involved in a similar trade or business for two years after the distribution in order to qualify for the distribution being treated as a return of capital.

Distributions from an MVL process not meeting the above criteria will be considered as income rather than capital so act now to ensure the the MVL process can be implemented and funds distributed before the deadline in order that shareholders benefit from a capital distribution.

Please contact Hayley Maddison or Andrew Weston for further information and/or a quotation to place a company into Members Voluntary Liquidation.

County court judgments increase 20%

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The number of county court judgments (CCJs) against consumers in England and Wales has increased more than 20 per cent to over 209,000.

The increase, in the first quarter of 2015 compared to a year ago, emerged in figures from the Registry Trust – a non-profit organisation that collects CCJ and high court data.

There has not been more than 200,000 consumer CCJs in the first quarter of the year since 2008.

While many people are struggling with unmanageable debt, the average value of a CCJ in the three months to March (£2,171) fell for the sixth consecutive year.

This average value is 41 per cent down on the same period in 2009, the recent high point.

The total value of all debt judgments against consumers in the first quarter was £514m, to which CCJs contributed £455m.

For the full story click here

Court fees rise up to 600%

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Civil court fees for money claims over £10,000 have risen to five per cent of the value of the claim.

The controversial fee increase, of up to 600 per cent in some cases, affects both specified and unspecified claims. They will be capped however at £10,000 for claims of £200,000 or more.

There will also now be a fee of 4.5 per cent of the claim’s value for claims over £10,000 issued in the County Court Business Centre. A 10 per cent discount remains on all money claims made online.

The changes come after a series of objections from parties including The Law Society, which claimed the new fees are tantamount to “selling justice.”

Despite widespread opposition, a final House of Lords vote approved the changes last week.

The Law Society is now mounting a legal challenge in a bid to kick-start a judicial review. It has sent a pre-action protocol letter and is waiting for the government’s response.

For the full story click here

How much debt are British adults managing?

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The latest edition of R3’s Personal Debt Snapshot report is due to be published shortly and, besides detailing the current levels of debt, it will give an insight into spending and saving behaviours among British adults. In R3’s Christmas debt report a significant proportion of adults said they struggled to make their money last until the next payday. The report will be set against recent calls by David Cameron at the British Chambers of Commerce conference for bosses to give British workers a pay rise. 
The report will appear on R3’s website at 

New Office Address

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We are very pleased to announce that we have moved offices to the address below with effect from 7th April 2014:

The Old Brewhouse
49-51 Brewhouse Hill
St Albans
Herts   AL4 8AN

All contact telephone numbers / email addresses remain the same.

Please feel free to pop in to see our new offices if you happen to be in the area and we will be happy to provide a guided tour!

CPS charges HMRC worker over bungs

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A press officer for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

HMRC press officer Jonathan Hall is alleged to have received more than £17,400 from The Sun newspaper through his partner Marta Bukarewicz – for sensitive information obtained through his employment with HMRC.

It is thought that the payments were made between 30 March 2008 and 15 July 2011.

For the full story click here

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The UK’s largest coal mining company, UK Coal Operations, is reportedly seeking voluntary liquidation, putting 2,000 jobs, and the value of 6,800 workers’ pensions at risk.

In order to avoid falling into insolvency, UK Coal Operations is seeking voluntary liquidation, as reported by the Financial Times.

A fire at the Daw Mill Colliery in February 2013, one of the three deep mines it operated, resulted in the loss of 650 jobs.

Kevin McCullough, chief executive for UK Coal Mine Holdings said: “There has been some further unhelpful and inaccurate speculation. Our main focus has been on preserving 2,000 jobs and securing the future of UK coal mining.

“We continue to work closely with our employees, government, pension funds, the Pensions Regulator, suppliers and customers.”

“As with all deals of this complexity there are many moving parts but I hope we are close to securing a way forward for our remaining mines.

“There will undoubtedly be some difficult decisions as we have had to look at all possible options. We will be able to announce more news in the coming days.”

UK Coal Operations’ two remaining deep mines, Kellingley in Yorkshire, Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, and its six surface mines, are “performing well” says McCullough.

A voluntary liquidation would allow a new subsidiary to continue the operations of the mines.

UK Coal Operations’ deep and surface mines yield 7.3m tonnes of coal a year, providing 5% of the UK’s electricity.

Last month the UK coal industry took another hit as Scottish Coal made 600 staff redundant during its liquidation process.

By John Brazier