Upmarket agency in continuing talks with HMRC over tax bill

An estate agency has reportedly been put up for sale as it negotiates with HMRC over an unpaid tax bill.

Newcastle firm Sanderson Young, with branches in Gosforth, Ponteland and Alnwick, is run by its founder Duncan Young.

Another office, rare!, specialises in selling homes worth over £700,000.

Young told the local paper in August that Sanderson Young had been issued with a winding-up petition by HMRC after the unpaid £175,000 bill.

However, Young said this was an honest administrative error which had been hugely embarrassing.

He had been on holiday when HMRC sent out a reminder letter which was tidied away in a drawer.

He has now said that he is 99% certain that “the company will be back on track with me leading it”.

He said: “It is my full intention to keep trading and negotiations are ongoing.”

The Newcastle Journal says it has seen an advertisement marketing Sanderson Young to potential buyers, listing its fixed assets at £555,449.

Young started his business in 1999 after being northern director for GA Town & Country.

We have approached him for a comment.



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  1. JonnyBanana43

    Pity. Nice chap. Good brand.

  2. EAMD172

    When I see how much tax we generate for the HMRC as a small group agency then I look at how much I take out as the owner  it makes me sick when they come down on you so hard. This man will have generated millions over his years of trading in PAYE, corporation tax, NI, VAT and will have taken a minor percentage of that as income. What did the HMRC ever do to earn it -NOTHING! And then they want to put him Out of business so he can’t generate more for them. Give the guy a break. Chase Amazon or Google for goodness sake.

    1. AgentV

      When the government called a snap election last year it was like someone turned the lights off in our business. Appraisals ground to a halt and we hardly took another property on the rest of the year. We came into the start of 2018 with less than £10,000 in fees in the pipeline. Cash flow was, to say the least, catastrophic.

      I have worked seven days a week, from the start of the year, just to get us into a barely survivable position. If you haven’t got lettings income to fall back on, every decision that the politicians make, that worries people and causes uncertainty, virtually puts you out of business. Three branches of other agents within a mile of us closed over Christmas.

      I have every sympathy with these guys. The referendum vote has made stock levels plummet in our areas, and it has been very tough the last couple of years!

  3. P-Daddy

    This unfortunately is so often the case. It’s the same with overdrafts, exceed your limit and the banks will crush the business…unless of course your debt happens to be good debt i.e. millions £

    A £175,000 forgotten obligation is rather stupid though, sums like that don’t get forgotten in a drawer…hope they sort it out in time!

  4. Lollipop04

    If you owe the money you have generated the income proportional to what is owed and spent it, there is no excuse nobody likes paying tax but we all have to, don’t live beyond your means especially in a bad market and HMRC give you lots of chances before taking such radical action, just own up you’ve spent the dosh! What if clients didn’t pay their fees? I bet there would be no sympathy then….

    1. EAMD172

      That is the tax man’s argument. However it doesn’t take into account cash flow and timing. Maybe spending the money is ensuring your staff are all paid every month. That is without doubt the biggest strain on any business owner. Staff getting paid usually takes priority over paying corporation tax as it is nine months before CT becomes due by which time business levels and cash flow can change dramatically. Do you actually run your own business and understand all the tax implications? HMRC is usually the creditor that puts businesses into administration.

      1. Lollipop04

        I have ran businesses for over 40 years fully aware of the implications. We should all get a break from HMRC they do put a lot of businesses into administration but it doesn’t happen overnight, there is plenty of warning.


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