In April 2013 the number of petitions advertised was just 550 in April 2012 the number was 607 and in April 2011 it was 734. So the numbers of petitions are still declining
HMRC are now less inclined to send warnings and are moving straight to issuing petitions or using distraint. In fact, yesterday they issued approximately 130 petitions which is the largest number they have issued in one go for some time. To see the latest list of companies then go to http://www.winding-up-petition.co.uk/category/latest/. They do appear to be targeting construction and contracting firms at the moment.
So if HMRC threaten any kind of legal action for the recovery of any tax debts it will either be distraint or a winding up petition. Distraint can be particularly awkward as they will turn up to your registered office and demand goods be taken away in 7 days if the debt is not paid. In many cases companies have their registered office at the home and anything belonging to the company, such as car, could be their target.
If you get a visit from HMRC field officer then call us and we will see if we can help. In many cases it is not too late to save the business.