How to react to a HMRC winding-up order

Dealing with HMRC winding-up petitions

Being served with a Winding-up Petition from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a daunting prospect that requires a swift response.

If you receive a petition, HMRC will obtain a court order forcing your company into Compulsory Liquidation unless you pay the taxes you owe.

According to the Insolvency Rules of England and Wales 2016, HMRC must serve a petition at the earliest opportunity.

There are usually 6 weeks between service of a petition and the date of the first hearing. Sensible respondents use this time to decide what they are going to do.

However, the UK tax authority takes longer than most organisations to serve petitions. As a result, respondents to a HMRC winding-up petition only have 3 or 4 weeks to react.

HMRC may advertise the petition 7 days after service. But they usually wait until the last possible minute because the advert is likely to activate closure of the respondent’s bank account(s), which is counterproductive.

Seek help for HMRC petitions

If you want the business to fold, ignore a HMRC winding-up petition. But a director who’s trying to save their company will seek help, which invariably comes from an insolvency practitioner (IP). IPs operate solely in accordance with statutory legislation.

Consequently, they will only ever advise you to place the company into 1 of 3 formal insolvency procedures: a Company Voluntary Arrangement, a Creditor’s Voluntary Liquidation or Company Administration.

Thankfully, there are alternatives, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get this information from an IP. Upon receipt of a HMRC winding- up petition, you could:

  1. Allow the company to be wound up
  2. Pay the petition debt
  3. Dispute the debt
  4. Contact us.

An independent specialist such as I&L will provide sound advice, and better prepare you for an insolvency procedure if that becomes necessary.


Gibraltar Financial Services Commission: A Lesson in Financial Regulation


The recent collapse of High Street Group and its security trustee, Castle Trust Management and Services, prompts a closer examination of regulatory practices. Along with…

Read More
de trafford

De Trafford Third Party Recovery: An Update


The recent financial collapse of multiple DeTrafford property development companies hassignificantly impacted purchasers. As they navigate the consequences, a glimmer of hope arises asthe wheels…

Read More
Northumberland Living

Northumberland Living Developments: Allegations and Challenges


Northumberland Living, In West Chevington Farm, Druridge Bay, is a development poised for completion. Only to be stalled by an apparent unforeseen historical conveyancing issue.…

Read More
st anne's limited development

St Anne’s Street Limited: The Perils of Off-Plan Property Purchases


Two luxury housing developments in Liverpool have faced major setbacks, leaving purchasers indespair and dreams of new homes shattered. St Anne’s Street Limited and Chaloner…

Read More