Apostle Accounting has gone into liquidation after hundreds of clients faced tax bills for claiming HMRC refunds they were not entitled to
Administrators at DFW Associates have been appointed to handle the liquidation proceedings for the Stowmarket firm. The liquidator said it would be contacting creditors before making an initial report. Creditors will be able to lodge claims online on the firm’s creditor portal.
Apostle Accounting has two directors, Martin Goodchild and Zoe Goodchild, and the firm was set up in October 2012.
Clients who used Suffolk-based accountancy firm Apostle Accounting to obtain tax refunds were told by HMRC they had made ‘incorrect claims’ and were not entitled to the money. There are estimated to be between 800 and 1,400 taxpayers affected and the issue was raised by a group of MPs in April.
In a letter to HMRC, supported by a number of MPs from the local area, Jo Churchill MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: ‘Constituents report that Apostle Accounting has been offering a service to help customers claim expenses for work-related costs.
‘They allege these claims contained inaccuracies which have resulted in customers being investigated by HMRC and having to repay prior rebates, including the percentage amount retained by Apostle Accounting. In some cases, Apostle customers are also required to pay HMRC penalties.
‘Customers report that, despite multiple requests to Apostle Accounting, clarification on what was claimed on their behalf has not been provided and that it has proved impossible to communicate with the company.’
The appointment of liquidators was confirmed on The Gazette, the official record of insolvency proceedings.
The notice stated ‘that the Company be wound up voluntarily and that David Frederick Wilson (IP No. 006074) of DFW Associates, Leeds, be appointed liquidator for the purposes of such voluntary winding up’.
It also said that further details would be available from the liquidator on 0113 3907940.
When the issue was first raised, Apostle rejected HMRC’s interpretation of the tax rules and in a statement from the firm’s lawyers Front Row Legal, it stated that ‘the cases showcase an incorrect application by HMRC officers of its own rules and guidance in respect of work related expenses claims’.
Suffolk Police are also investigating the issue after receiving a ‘large number of allegations of fraud’.