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Scared of going to prison due to tax payments. Need advice...
June 21, 2009 7:11 PM   Subscribe

Scared of going to prison due to tax payments. Need advice...

Please note:
*I was based in the UK.

*I know my spelling and grammar is terrible, I have learning difficulties.

* I now live in a EU country

I recently ran a company for 2 years, 1st year went very well and paid all the taxe for the company, myself and the staff contributions. 2nd year I was hit hard due to rates rising and customers going bankrupt. Which left me in no position to lay-off all the staff and leave the company premises. I tried to keep the company running but was failing to keep up with loan repayments and tax. I barely had enough to survive to pay the bills. I notified companies house that I will no longer be trading in the UK. They asked to write them a letter and I managed to get my accountant to sort out. However taxes was owed to the tax man in which I cannot close the company. There is no chance of getting out of it without declaring myself bankrupt. Which in my proffession means I cannot become a professional in that field anymore. I cannot risk this.

So I decided to move abroad to a country in Europe to start fresh. I left all my personal debt behind for personal loans which started up the company in the first place. My old company will becoming struck-off soon as lack of communication. I have been living abroad for about 8 months, starting up from scratch. Same again, finding it hard to pay bills but without owing anyone where I live. (I will no longer loan money). However I recieved a letter from one of the banks that I owe £800 too, I had not left any information of my wareabouts. They have thretened to take my belongings (Which I don't have any, apart from clothes and work computer). I'm baffled on how they found my address.

I owe approx: £30,000 spread out between banks, loans and credit cards. I leave no bad debt for my company apart from the 2nd year tax in which I lost everything.

I owe approx £3,000 in tax. I had to pay my old staff by selling equipment in the office. Nothing left on the old company is left.

My question is:

* Can the money I owe in the UK get shifted to my countries debt handlers? and risk bailiffs at my door?

* My debt: I have been told if I leave the UK for more than 5 years. The money owed will be cleared. However I have to stay annonoymous in my new address. Is this true?

* I know my company is being struck off in the UK, but the tax I owe. Can I risk getting jailtime for this?

* If I visit family in the UK could I be arrested?

* If I become a registered resident of the new EU country. Could I be tracked by other owed banks in the UK?

Bankrupsy isnt an option :(

I'm having sleepless nights over this and feel like its the end of the road.

I really appriciate any serious response, I know I'm bad for owing money to the banks. But that money was personal to setting up the company in the 1st place.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I was intrigued about how claims are enforced cross-EU myself, and I found this:

It is also now possible to file a claim form in England and serve this on the debtor abroad. Once judgment is received enforcement action can be taken in the debtor’s country of residence. If the Debtor cannot or does not dispute jurisdiction at the start and/or file a defence the creditor has a direct route to enforcing the judgment regardless of the fact the debtor is outside the UK.

Also if you as a debtor have moved to a member of the European Union and your country falls within the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22nd December 2000 then permission to serve the claim form outside of the UK is not even required. This makes a claim against you for the outstanding debt relatively simple and cheap for the creditor.


Separately, relating to I have been told if I leave the UK for more than 5 years. The money owed will be cleared. .. make that six years and read this information about it. There are several ways in which the six years can be overcome, specifically if they get a CCJ against you.
posted by wackybrit at 7:30 PM on June 21, 2009


By the way, even if you do think you can keep your head down and miss a lot of this, I'd definitely consider paying the tax man if it's possible. If anyone from your list of creditors is likely to try and hunt you down and have the powers to make your life hell, it's the tax man. You would be well advised to look at your affairs to see that your accounts are in order first, however, as you might not owe what you think if there are many bad debts leading to losses in any periods following those you owe tax for. The Inland Revenue has recently started a scheme where taxes can be paid off more slowly - you will need to look into whether this could be useful for you.
posted by wackybrit at 7:33 PM on June 21, 2009


Seconding wackybrit, your other debtors may or may not eventually just write off the debt. I don't know how much it costs to enforce judgments in other EU countries but it may be enough to not make it worth their while.

The Revenue on the other hand. Well, don't fuck with them.
posted by atrazine at 9:06 PM on June 21, 2009


err. Your other creditors obviously, not debtors.
You really need to seek professional help on this though. I understand that you have trouble paying your current bills, but as soon as you've got some spare cash flow you should seek advice.
posted by atrazine at 9:50 PM on June 21, 2009


Contact Inland Revenue by mail, tell them your situation and ask for payment terms.
posted by mattoxic at 5:08 AM on June 22, 2009


Speaking from the experience of someone I know - the interest added to owed tax is phenomenal. As in, £3k turning into £30k phenomenal. As in second mortgages. I think you need someone professional to speak to about this - particularly if your learning difficulties make communication in writing tricky.
posted by mippy at 7:26 AM on June 22, 2009


What field can you not practice in if you declare bankruptcy?

It sounds like you either need to do that, or find the money to pay your taxes.
posted by jrockway at 10:35 AM on July 1, 2009


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