Directors who are liable for unpaid tax

HMRC has the power to make directors personally liable for paying the tax debts of companies they have been involved in under certain limited circumstances. This can also apply to certain other individuals associated with a company.

A joint and several liability notice tells the recipient that they are personally responsible, along with the company and anyone else issued with a notice, to pay the penalty amount raised against the company.

There are a number of important conditions that must be met before HMRC can issue a notice. The underlying legislation applies to liabilities relating to any period that ended on or after 22 July 2020. 

Directors could receive a joint and several liability notice in cases of:

  • tax avoidance and tax evasion;
  • repeated insolvency and non-payment cases; and
  • facilitating avoidance or evasion, for example, helping others to avoid or evade paying tax due.


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