Husband and wife directors of a fish and chip shop have received a seven-year ban after an HMRC investigation uncovered in the region of £500,000 in under-declared VAT. Since setting the business up in 2008, HMRC and the Insolvency Service have determined that the directors allowed the inaccurate submission of VAT returns by deliberately supressing sales income.
The sales income had been suppressed by the business by it not declaring all of it's cash takings, resulting in under-declared VAT. The figure of over £500,000 owed back to HMRC was reached by reassessing all of the company's finances in light of the undeclared income. This resulted in penalties and interest of £168,000, corporation tax liability of £210,000, and corporation tax penalties of £141,000.
The deputy head of investigations at the Insolvency Service, Lawrence Zussman, said that "The periods of these disqualifications sends a clear message to other company directors that tax abuse of any kind, particularly when it comes to suppression of cash takings by directors will not be tolerated."
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