Having mastered the ability to run faster than a speeding bullet and to outpace a locomotive, before bounding over buildings, the Insolvency Service have wasted no time in acquiring a new power and cannot wait to try it out.
A press release today (Thursday 13 May) from GOV.UK informs a cowering cutch of dodgy directors that the Service will be given powers to investigate directors of companies that have been dissolved, closing a legal loophole and acting as a strong deterrent against the misuse of the dissolution process. The first thought of your average incorporated but louche plumber, mechanic or late-night taxi driver who has been caught dangling their rod on the wrong side of the bridge, is to quickly dissolve their sham of a business to avoid investigation ...
... but no longer. Even your Nan will tell you that, at present, the Insolvency Service has powers to investigate directors of live companies, or those entering a form of insolvency, but the new measures included in the Ratings (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill are retrospective and will enable the Service to also tackle directors who have inappropriately wound-up companies that have benefited from Bounce Back Loans.
This Bill also delivers on the commitment to rule out Covid-19 related material change of circumstances business rate appeals. This is due to the fact that market-wide economic changes to property values, such as from the virus, can only be properly considered at general rates revaluations.
Our mate Kwasi at the Department of Business is very chuffed with the new measures. He said: "We are determined that the UK should be the best place in the world to do business. Extending powers to investigate directors of dissolved companies means those who have previously been able to avoid their responsibilities will be held to account." Your stomach should not have dropped a millimetre and neither should your spine have tingled when reading the above. If it did you may have to heck the balance of your (or your client's) Bounce Back Loan.
They're coming to get you.