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Closing down a VAT registered Company
Has anybody here any experience of this?
Basically I set myself up in business to go contracting which unfortunately only lasted six months.
After seven months of no work I had to go and get myself a (crap) job at a Company and am now PAYE.
I contracted under an umbrella company which took care of all my accounts etc and who are still happily charging me a (reduced) monthly fee to basically inform me I have earned nothing and spent nothing.
I called them to tell them I cannot afford to keep paying them and was overwhelmed with all the things they told me about HMRC, Companies House and fines if various things aren't submitted in time which is worrying.
I asked about closing the Company which they can do for me - for a fee over £600! Sad
Apparently it is a long winded process if you do it yourself and many pitfalls if you miss something.
Any advice on this matter would be greatly received.

I suggest you do this ASAP as it's an offense to carry on as registered if you are no longer have any turnover. 

Is it limited, partnership or sole trader?

If it's limited

I suspect that they want you to think you're dependent on them and want to fleece you before you're off their books
I would have posted the same as Albionmad if I'd been a bit quicker off the mark. The sites are generally pretty informative: you might have to wade through some different options but it's certainly worth doing before you pay somebody a fat fee for a job you could do yourself.

Just check you aren't contractually obligated to the umbrella company to give some period of extended notice?
Thanks guys - I did have a look at this but as I am a novice to all this stuff I just worry that I may miss something.
In hindsight I would have not set myself up in the first place! Sad
Here is what my Accountants tell me I should do and what they provide:

Outline of the cessation process
1.         We need to establish that your company has completely ceased trading.  In order to do this, our policy is to wait for a period of 3 months after the date you notify us of cessation.  This allows the final VAT, PAYE and any other late items to go through your accounts. During this period you will receive management accounts which should disclose no new activity.
1.         During this period we also request that you clear your Housekeeping.  Details of how to complete this can be found by visiting the following link cessation
2.         Please be aware that you must submit any outstanding expenses within 10 days of your last service month. We will prepare your company’s P11D within 2 weeks and also close the PAYE scheme within 4 weeks of the cessation fee being paid.
3.         If after 3 months your company has ceased to trade we will also at this point advise you of your likely Corporation Tax liability so you can ensure sufficient funds are retained in the company.
4.         We will then send you your cessation accounts for approval. Please note it may take up to 6 months to get to this stage (3 months monitoring activity and you clearing your Housekeeping , plus up to 3 months for preparation of your cessation accounts)
5.         Once you have approved your cessation accounts we will advise of your final Corporation Tax payment and final dividend.
6.         Finally we will
          Deregister your company for VAT and PAYE
          Issue you with a DS01 form which you will need to complete. This is the official form which applies for your company to be taken off the register at Companies House. Please Note that this form can only be filed once your company has had not trading for at least 3 months.
          It may also take a number of months for Companies House to register your Company has ceased. 
          Before filing the DS01 you should distribute remaining business assets between shareholders. 
          Once the DS01 is filed, a notice will be published in the London Gazette giving 2 months’ notice of the intent to strike off the company. Gazettes are the UK’s official newspaper record and invite any interest party to make objection as to why the company should not be struck off
Cessation fees
The fees for completing the cessation process are £520 plus VAT and includes:
1.     Preparation of ongoing management accounts to establish no activity
2.     Preparation of ongoing VAT returns until the process is concluded
3.     A review of accounting records and preparation of your cessation accounts
4.     Preparation of final corporation tax return.
5.     Production of dividend vouchers
6.     Application to deregister for VAT
7.     Completion of final P35 and issuing and any other payroll forms as necessary
8.     Application to remove company from register at Companies house
9.     Completion of any other returns which fall due during the cessation process e.g. annual return
You can always phone HMRC if you need advice too, they are very helpful when you eventually get through.

If you wish to close the company you need to complete a DS01 but deregistration of VAT is a vat50 form I think. The vat process alone can take 2 weeks and you can close the paye registration at the same time.
Do a VAT7 to de-reg for VAT. It’s quite straight forward.

If you’ve traded in the period (First 6 months?) then you’ll need to prepare a set f accounts in order to complete the company tax return (form CT600).

You can ring HMRC and tell them to cancel the PAYE scheme. It then depends what’s left in the bank account etc to clear out. Basically pay off the tax and the rest is yours! Depends how much is left as to whxh route is the best option. You can pay it out as a dividend, if it’s more than £5k but less than £20k then maybe a solvent liquidation would be better. They should know this.

It takes 3 months from when you file the DS01 with companies house and then the company will be struck off. You may find if you try and strike it off before paying the tax then HMRC will block it.

It depends how much you’ve paid as you go along but if they have accounts and tax to prepare then I would say that’s a reasonable fee. They are making it sound much more complicated than it is though.

PM me if you want any more info
My opinion matters
VAT de-reg is simple as referred to above if the VAT is what you are bothered about.  Even the noggenyeds in HMRC can get that right.
I will tell you what to do
For £599 plus the vodka and tonic
Citizens Advice have people with specialist knowledge. Make an appointment it cost nothing to ask.
I did this with one of my companies last year. It takes 5 minutes. Tell them to do one. You'll also have to file a set of final abbreviated accounts which will be full of zeros, then either make the company dormant or deregister.

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