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I have been issued an HMRC distraint order, can I stop it?

Licensed UK Insolvency Practitioners FREE Meeting for Company Directors

We can help with serious company debts, HMRC and creditor pressure, VAT/PAYE/Tax arrears, cashflow problems and raising finance.

I have been issued an HMRC distraint order, can I stop it?

For many years I have owned and operated a small tailor shop in Northampton and until quite recently we have done very well. It seems like the economy is impacting our business and I am unable to keep up with all my bills. VAT is a huge problem for me at the moment and the bailiff has served me a distraint order from HMRC. Is there any way to put a stop to this?

I was told that if I didn’t sign the paper they could seize my assets immediately. Because I trust the government, I signed the paper but now understand I only have 5 days to pay them what I owe in back taxes or they will sell my property at public auction. Is this true? Can they really give me only five days to come up with several thousand pounds? I want to keep my business because I believe we can bounce back again if given enough time.


Our team of Insolvency Practitioners are hearing this question more and more often because HM Revenue and Custom mean business. If you owe back taxes HMRC will get their money one way or another! For starters, you did the right thing in signing that paper because you heard right. By doing so you bought yourself those 5 days to come up with the tax arrears or seek professional insolvency help.

Understand one thing – you need to act quickly because the bailiff or HMRC field officer will be back if the debt isn’t cleared within the allotted timeframe. At that point they can take control of any assets or possessions which are not officially ‘tools of the trade.’ Be advised that you cannot sell or trade any assets once you have been served a distraint notice and to do so would be considered a criminal act.

Can you stop a distraint order notice? There may be a solution but time is of the essence. It cannot be emphasised enough that you must act and you must act quickly. Contact Real Business Rescue, Begbies Traynor (central) LLP, immediately to see whether a Company Voluntary Arrangement, Administration or even a quick business loan such as invoice factoring could possibly offer the help you need. We can help to determine whether or not your business has the potential to be viable once again – this is the foundation upon which stopping a distraint notice is built. There is no time to lose so call us today!

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Jonathan Munnery
Andrew MacKenzie
Julie Palmer
Thomas Mckay
Keith Tully
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