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Insolvency

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) personal insolvencies and (b) individual voluntary arrangements involving a loss of tax revenue there were in each year since 1997. (159019)

For the number of creditor petitions granted to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 6 November 2006, Official Report, column 1021W. The figure for 2006-07 is 3,827. This figure does not include, nor does HMRC hold, information on the numbers of Bankruptcy Petitions granted to other creditors where HMRC may also have been a creditor.

Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) were introduced by the Insolvency Act 1986 as an alternative to Bankruptcy. The Enterprise Act 2002 reduced the stigma of bankruptcy, thus encouraging enterprise and reducing the penalties for genuine business ‘failure’. The number of Individual Voluntary Arrangements approved in England and Wales in the last six years where HMRC and former legacy Departments were creditors is:

2001—3,887

2002—3,304

2003—3,498

2004—3,365

2005—4,320

2006—5,524

HMRC does not have this information for earlier years.