The Belfast-headquartered company Harland & Wolff, which is vying to build the replacement Royal Yacht, was served with a winding-up petition in relation to one of its subsidiaries last Tuesday by HM Revenue & Customs, according to a High Court filing.
Harland & Wolff said the legal claim, which if left unresolved risked forcing the business into bankruptcy, was the result of an “administrative error” within the taxman’s systems.
HMRC had “failed to recognise” a payment of £92,275, which later triggered the winding up petition, representatives from the shipbuilder said.
Last week’s row centred on a payment by Harland & Wolff subsidiary Arnish, a 38-hectare development site located on the North West coast of Scotland, on the Isle of Lewis.
It came little more than three months after HMRC issued another of Harland & Wolff subsidiaries, Firth of Forth shipyard Methil, with a winding up petition.
Harland & Wolff is battling against Houlder Limited for the £250m contract to build the replacement HMY Britannia.
The two-party shortlist was drawn up last month after more than 19 companies expressed interest in building the new ship.The flagship is scheduled to launch in the final three months of 2024, entering service at the end of the following year.