HMRC Enforcement & Insolvency Service (EIS) - Worthing - MVLs

It was reported throughout the insolvency community that on 1 December 2014 the Worthing office would take over the running of members' voluntary liquidations (MVLs) in respect of VAT. 


During a telephone call on 28 January 2015 with EIS (03000 519 936) it was confirmed that from 1 December 2014 the office did not have IT access and so it was sometime in January 2015 that they started inputting case information, and they were doing this by looking at the Gazette; apparently they had to start looking at entries from October 2014.


(For the avoidance of doubt I could not understand why they were using this method of updating their systems, why were they not relying on the submissions made to HMRC from the Insolvency Practitioners?)


We understood there would be some backlog but on 12 March 2015 I spoke again for updates on our cases.  I was told to call back on the “hotline” 03000 577 060 as this is the number where the staff take it in turns to answer the phone. 


I called the “hotline”, took some time answering but was then told that they cannot discuss cases over the telephone, we have to email: BUT for cases over 6 months old!  I asked what are we to do about cases before that, I was told that the office is 3 months behind at present so either we will hear from them or it will get to the point where the case is 6 months old so then can communicate!


Until 18 June 2015 the hotline was being answered and cases were being progressed, to some extent.  We would often email and then chase by telephone because the office would not reply to emails.  They would however acknowledge that their system showed the email.


However, since 18 June 2015 to date, I have attempted, practically on a daily basis (at various times of the day) to call and the response is:


“Sorry your call did not go through, please try your call again later.”


I have tried calling 03000 519 936 and again the same response.  I emailed on 24 June 2015 and to date no reply.


This situation is most worrying; the shareholders on each case quite rightly require updates as the liquidation progresses and do not understand why it takes HMRC so long to attend to matters.  We are concerned that as time passes the shareholders will question our competence.

Have any fellow Insolvency Practitioners experienced the same?  We would appreciate your feedback and suggestions on how to attend to this matter.

Many thanks,

Lauren Cullen
Marks Bloom
020 8549 9951

  • Hi Lauren,

    We too are suffering the exact same issues that you've encountered.

    We have only recently received our first reply from their office to any communications sent since 1 December. That reply requested that we complete the 'outstanding' VAT 193 for a two day pre appointment period. Not only had that VAT 193 never previously been issued but the two day period to which it referred was covered by a VAT 100 which we'd submitted 4 months earlier! We're still waiting to hear back from them to our follow up letter and email....

    The situation is shambolic at best and, as you say, is causing significant delays for shareholders receiving their funds which are outside of our control.

    Incidentally, have you had any joy in deregistering the companies for VAT since your appointment? We have not and discussions with HMRC's hotline has produced inconsistent and conflicting advice. One individual told us that the submission of the VAT 769 would no longer result in the issue of a VAT 167 and we should now complete a VAT 7 as would be the case in a deregistration outside of an insolvency process. Their guidance to IP's makes no such mention though and still refers to completion of a VAT 167?

    Ironically enough, we found their systems pre December 2014 to be quite responsive!

    Dave Hailey
    UHY Hacker Young
    01462 687333

  • This problem is not limited to MVLs.
    I have been advised there are no longer case managers. Whoever answers the phone has to deal with the enquiry but they recently admitted they did not have the time to read the file.It seems impossible to agree some thing in advance so time and cost are expended as they do not discuss for example proposals before they are sent out. If you want to try and be creative forget it no one will go beyond their policy even if they say there is no policy. Is the Institute prepared to take up these concerns because at the moment businesses are failing , jobs are being lost and the revenue are not collecting as much as they could
  • In my experience the only way to get a substantive response from HMRC these days is to file an appeal with the tax tribunal. Even the complaints division does not respond, and there seems no point trying to chase them with follow up letters.
    The other way is, of course, to wait 18 months or more before trying to finalise anything, but then monitoring get twitchy.