Accountant to pay £2k over VAT security bond failure

A Lymington accountant has been ordered to pay compensation of £2,000 plus costs for failing to pay a security bond, enforced by HMRC, to ensure VAT payments until three days before the case went to court

Peter Lashmar, sole proprietor of New Forest Tax Accountants, was required to pay a security bond of £12,600. He was sent a notice of requirement to protect the public purse against any future tax defaults or company losses, based on his previous trading history.

Lashmar failed to pay the bond to HMRC, but continued to trade making taxable supplies – contravening the Value Added Tax Act 1994, and ran up VAT debts, so HMRC decided to take legal action. HMRC had already compulsorily registered the business for VAT, as Lashmar had failed to do so.

At Southampton magistrates court on 6 October, Lashmar pleaded guilty to making taxable supplies while the bond remained.

Richard Wilkinson, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: ‘Peter Lashmar is in a position of trust as an accountant. Had we not taken legal action, this security bond and VAT debt would still be outstanding.

‘Anyone who is VAT registered, but has a history of failing to meet their tax obligations, may be required to pay a security bond as a precautionary measure to protect future tax revenue. It is only right that we tackle those businesses who fail to play by the rules by taking such action.’

In 2015 Lashmar was disqualified from acting as a director for seven years by Southampton County Court for failing to make sure a separate accountancy firm, called Lashmars UK Ltd, kept proper records, dealt with its tax affairs and registered for VAT.

Lashmars (UK) Ltd was placed into liquidation in September 2012. HMRC lodged a claim with the liquidator with regards to unpaid taxes and penalties for £211, 424 in total, which included a civil evasion penalty of £35,270 for failing to register for VAT when legally required to do so.

Lashmar has been approached for comment.

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