Help, government seized £4.5k as Bona Vancantia Help, government seized £4.5k as Bona Vancantia
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  1. #1

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    Default Help, government seized £4.5k as Bona Vancantia

    I’m a New Zealander who worked in the UK as a freelancer between 2016-2018, during which time I worked through my own Limited Company.

    In June 2018 my visa expired so I had to leave the country. I instructed my accountant to close up shop.

    I had a business account with Lloyds bank that had about £4.5k left in it just in case there were any remaining taxes etc to be paid. In February of this year, I logged in my internet banking to find the account cleared of all funds. My initial thought was that I’d be hacked, but Lloyds explained to me that the government has seized the money and gave me a number to call.

    I discovered that my funds have been claimed as bona vacantia as the company associated with the account had been struck from the register. I was given zero warning from my accountant, my bank or from the government that this would happen.

    I followed the instructions sent to me and applied to have the company restored at the cost of a £60 waiver letter and a £100 filing fee, but they responded that because I had struck off the company ‘myself’, and the only way to restore the company is to follow the instructions here: Apply for a discretionary grant (company can be restored) (CB2) - GOV.UK

    This now involves courts, witnesses, hefty fees and a lot of time and paperwork. Alternatively they also seem to offer a discretionary grant, which seems like I would get less that £3k back, depending on whether or not my company 'could be restored'.

    Has anyone had this happen to them before, or can offer any advice on what to do next? Frankly I’m really upset that the government has the power to just suck out all my money and make me fight so hard to have it returned to me.

  2. #2

    Respect my authoritah!

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    It's part of the rules that this can happen, so you did have warning from the government as it is part of published procedures.

    Your bank doesn't care and has no duty to tell you how to run your company.

    Your accountant should have advised you that it would be better to have the company dormant for a year (or until all accounts are settled), before applying for dissolution. They should also have advised you that the money would be taken by the government once the company was dissolved.

    Ultimately, however, it's your responsibility as company director. It's unfortunate, but you just have to follow the process. Or write it off as an expensive mistake.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by samth85 View Post
    Frankly I’m really upset that the government has the power to just suck out all my money and make me fight so hard to have it returned to me.
    I don't think anyone who reads CUK is surprised. Rules supposed to apply to criminals are mostly aplied to ordinary people.

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    Frankly I’m really upset that the government has the power to just suck out all my money and make me fight so hard to have it returned to me.
    That's rather the point. It's not your money. The entity that owned the money no longer exists, which is why HMG has sequestered it. You as an individual can of course restore that entity, but it's not unreasonable that HMG will ant to be very certain that you are the original owner of the entity and that you are restoring it for good reasons - and thinking you're owed £4.5k is not a good reason, sadly.
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  5. #5

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    You can DIY it, but there are specialists who charge a reasonable fee to have it done. The routine you go down requires lots of forms and paperwork, as you're not doing this every day, get a specialist. I'd question why your accountant didn't notify you, try claiming any charges from them.

    Re-opening because there's money in there, is a good reason.

    I've heard of Crichtons Company Restorations being good,.
    Last edited by anonymouse; 2nd May 2019 at 08:42.

  6. #6

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    A old lady friend of mine says thank you for your donation to the Empire. Things are a bit tight with so many new kids popping out so it will help tide her over.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 2nd May 2019 at 11:24.
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  7. #7

    Fingers like lightning

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    A old lady friend of mine says thank you for your donation to the Empire. Things are a bit tight with so many new kids popping out so it will help tide her over.
    Better not catch you sniffing around here, Northern, or you'll be getting both barrels

  8. #8

    I live on CUK

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    Report your company to HMRC for tax evasion. They will restore the company for free and then you can extract the funds.
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  9. #9

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    Your accountant has advised you badly. It's the primary rule of winding up a company: that you need to move the money out at the right time otherwise they grab it.

    You can get it back, but may not be worth it in your case. Maybe ask for compensation from your accountant?
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by samth85 View Post
    I’m a New Zealander who worked in the UK as a freelancer between 2016-2018, during which time I worked through my own Limited Company.

    In June 2018 my visa expired so I had to leave the country. I instructed my accountant to close up shop.

    I had a business account with Lloyds bank that had about £4.5k left in it just in case there were any remaining taxes etc to be paid. In February of this year, I logged in my internet banking to find the account cleared of all funds. My initial thought was that I’d be hacked, but Lloyds explained to me that the government has seized the money and gave me a number to call.

    I discovered that my funds have been claimed as bona vacantia as the company associated with the account had been struck from the register. I was given zero warning from my accountant, my bank or from the government that this would happen.

    I followed the instructions sent to me and applied to have the company restored at the cost of a £60 waiver letter and a £100 filing fee, but they responded that because I had struck off the company ‘myself’, and the only way to restore the company is to follow the instructions here: Apply for a discretionary grant (company can be restored) (CB2) - GOV.UK

    This now involves courts, witnesses, hefty fees and a lot of time and paperwork. Alternatively they also seem to offer a discretionary grant, which seems like I would get less that £3k back, depending on whether or not my company 'could be restored'.

    Has anyone had this happen to them before, or can offer any advice on what to do next? Frankly I’m really upset that the government has the power to just suck out all my money and make me fight so hard to have it returned to me.
    It's worth filing for a discretionary grant. Done it in the past where clients companies have been struck off for non filing. There are some fees they skim off but in all cases I've dealt with, the grant has been successful.

    Your old accountant should have advised that before the DS01 (striking off form) to companies house is submitted, that all taxes and the company bank account is closed. Obviously didn't happen so I would take it up with them tbh.

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