The news none of us wished to hear was announced with the UK being placed under lockdown until 2 December 2020. This could not be any worse for many businesses who are believing this maybe the final straw.
At PBC we recognise businesses need access to advice and assistance without any delay. Accordingly, the PBC Team continue to be available, while also recognising the need to comply with the lockdown provisions.
There are some key dates advisors should be aware of when assisting your clients. These include:
- Crown preferential status returns on 1 December. This will relate to all unpaid tax liabilities on any formal insolvency procedure that comes into effect on or after 1 December and could impair any effort of restructuring a business.
- Under reforms to The Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act 2020 two interim prohibitions were extended to 31 December. These are:
- Serving of statutory demands or presentation of winding up petitions; and
- A landlord of commercial property may not take enforcement action against a tenant for amounts due that fall within the COVID interim period.
A more concerning point of note is the freezing of the wrongful trading period was not extended beyond 30 October. Accordingly, directors and business owners alike are now exposed to personal liability or (where an individual is made bankrupt) a bankruptcy restrictions order should they continue to increase liabilities with no reasonable prospect of avoiding insolvent liquidation or bankruptcy. The inability to trade (as a result of lockdown) does not stop liabilities from continuing to accrue so clients need to assess the financial position of their business and take early advice