The taxman cometh for Follett and then…

Follett Stock is unlikely to be the last law firm to fall foul of HMRC

“Let me tell you how it will be – there’s one for you 19 for me ’cos I’m the taxman…” sang The Beatles on the opening track of their 1966 album Revolver.

Follett Stock may not feel in a singing mood, but the lyrics could prove prophetic for the firm, which finds itself in hot water with HMRC over unpaid debts. The taxman has hit the firm with a wind-up petition and Follett Stock is set to appear in the High Court today (30 September).

It is understood that the debts relate to unpaid income tax and/or VAT running to a seven-figure total, although Follett Stock has remained tight-lipped about the case despite repeated calls from The Lawyer inviting the firm to comment. 

The court application comes just weeks after Follett Stock sought an injunction to prevent the petition being made public. If the firm fails to pay up by today HMRC is determined to step up its efforts to take back the cash owed.

If the firm fails to pay, the next step is for the court to appoint a liquidator to wind up the affairs of Follett Stock, although this does not necessarily mean that HMRC will get paid.

And Follett Stock may not be the only one struggling with its tax bills in the near future, following Government proposals to change LLP taxation in May. This could see increased national insurance and tax bills.

So Follett Stock have their date planned with the taxman – and it may not be the last law firm to feel his wrath.