Fabricator faces winding up petition over tax bill

Merseyside fabricator Fabs 4 has been forced to call in administrators after it emerged that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is pursuing the company over tax debts of £178,000.

HMRC filed a petition to wind up the company last November. It was announced this week that the case would be heard at Royal Courts of Justice in London on 19 January.

Fabs 4 is understood to have proposed several repayment plans over the past two months that would clear the majority of the debt, but HMRC has chosen to go ahead with the petition.

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Around £45,000 of the debt is related to fines and interest, which have been segregated and currently lie on appeal, according to the company.

Director, Steve Lunt, said the fabricator was disappointed that HMRC had rejected its offers of a plan that would have seen more than £100,000 repaid, particularly as it is also due £50,000 worth of tax credits in February, which would reduce the deficit significantly.

“The tax office has come back and said they want us to pay in full and they will credit in February —they are not prepared to give us a payment plan. One of the issues appears to be that they won’t take the tax credits into account because the paperwork is going on as we speak.”

Lunt said all suppliers were “up to date”, while customers and suppliers had been notified of the situation. “We have been and seen the customers and suppliers face to face, and shown them our correspondence with the tax office regarding our proposal to repay the money. The customers have said they are fine with it, but just need to be kept informed which way it is going with the administrator.”

Fabs 4 is a specialist manufacturer of bespoke fabrication products for use in the catering equipment industry. It employs around 20 staff at its Liverpool factory.

Lunt said the company is hoping its future will be cleared up sooner rather than later, and confirmed that it was continuing to trade and fulfil contracts under the administrator.

“The sad thing is that we have got more orders on our books than we have had in the last six years,” he said. “We are in the process of speaking to the administrator but they are quite positive about the situation.”

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