17 thoughts on “Champagne or flowers?

  • October 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Paul, don’t worry about being tainted by the few rogues in your profession – we solicitors have had to put up with that since time immemorial!!

  • October 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Well Done on the Newsletter Paul.

    I found it useful and informative


  • October 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Paul. I have views on several topics in your newsletter, but just want to comment on HMRC for now.

    The problem with HMRC, like Banks, is that the quality of the employees varies greatly, and there is no consistency. This makes it very difficult to predict how they will react to a particular set of circumstances.

    I’ve noticed a definite hardening of attitude, but a well reasoned and presented request for a payment program should still be supported.



  • October 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Paul, I can also vouch for HM Revenue & Customs applying differing standards on clients, hounding (well it feels like it!) some owing small amounts and being very lax on large sums owed by high earners. How do we advise clients on how to act in these circumstances?

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I doubt I’m the first but it is worth a try.

    An excellent email Paul very interesting. I look forward to looking at the survey report.

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Steve Davies of Prosperity, Stourbridge wins. Steve, would you like the champagne or flowers, and would you like to think carefully about this given that it was only a few weeks ago that you tied the knot?

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks Robert….

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks Chris, I agree there are inconsistencies – when I talk to a potential client about what to expect I advise him to bear in mind the HMRC bod making the decision may have struggled to get to work on the bus that morning, is pretty disillusioned with what is happening around him, has a pretty poor career path, etc, etc. It’s perhaps not surprising decisions are inconsistent.

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    It’s not easy, it’s a bit like playing poker dice – you may be lucky, you may not. All we can really do is to have prepared and properly explored business plans, forecasts etc, and have plans B and C ready should the answer be no.

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks Barry, sorry Steve Davies won. Mind you, he now has a decision to make!

  • October 28, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Morning Kevin; great blog and newsletter, well done on informing us whats going on in the Black Country.

    HMRC is the hot topic, we do lots of CVA’s, IN2009-10 most of our clients have had 2,3 or more failed Time to Pay (TTP) deals. Eventually HMRC says no.

    Viability is being challenged by Mr Hodge of HMRC says your article. Good. My view is that most TTP’s merely delay the inevitable insolvency because NOTHING CHANGES in the business.

    All struggling companies need a plan to change, need to cut costs and need to ACT. Just postponing tax payments MAY help good businesses survive, but most are not questioning, “what else do we need to do to improve cashflow”?

    I for one want to see clarity and national conistency in the HMRC approach. then we can all understand the rules / application and advise accordingly!

  • October 28, 2010 at 10:06 am


    I agree with you: I see directors time and time again, once they have a ttp in place, simply go back to what they have always done, they change nothing. Working harder doing the same thing merely buys time, it doesn’t change the ultimate outcome. I think we have a bif problem with management in the UK – and this thought is shared by others I know, including some big players in business – because management ‘manage’, they don’t ‘direct’ the business.

  • October 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm


    Great newsletter – keep them rolling.


  • October 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks Hans

  • October 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Yes, missed them by a good way. That’ll make you grumpy!

  • May 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Really interesting article, we work with many pre pack firm in London, who had HMRC tax arrears and need to get a foot up the ladder. Lots of factoring firms turn away decent businesses because of their past track record, some are OK and will refactor.

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