Company directors banned for £500K tax offences

Two directors who separately managed an estate agent and a convenience store have been disqualified after they caused their companies to abuse the tax regime, resulting in over £500,000 owing to HMRC

Estate agent Hsin Huang from Hammersmith, West London, has been banned for seven years, while convenience store boss Pratikkumar Patel, from Knowle, Hampshire, is disqualified for six years.

Huang was appointed the director of New Fortune Ltd in January 2011 on the same day the company was incorporated.

The estate agency traded from an address in Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London, but entered into liquidation in November 2018.

A subsequent Insolvency Service investigation discovered New Fortune owed the tax authorities more than £226,000.

In her disqualification undertaking, Hsin Lan Huang also did not dispute that she failed to maintain and/or preserve sufficient accounting records.

This has meant that it is not possible to verify when the company ceased trade or the legitimacy of substantial transactions, including just under £2.5m of expenditure and two payments of just under £1.6m to two unknown bank accounts.

In a separate case, R K Patel & Sons (UK) Ltd was incorporated in May 2015 and took over the business of an existing convenience store located on South Square, Knowle.

Between October 2015 and January 2019 the sole director, Pratikkumar Patel, caused the company to supress sales income and submit inaccurate returns to the tax authorities.

When the retail outlet entered into creditors voluntary liquidation in August 2019, it was determined the company had tax liabilities totaling £345,000.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of insolvent investigations for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Both Hsin Lan Huang and Pratikkumar Patel showed a total disregard to their responsibilities as company directors.

‘Much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid and their deceit has ultimately had impact on the public who rely on companies paying their correct taxes.

‘Seven and six-year disqualifications are considerable bans, severely restricting Hsin Lan Huang and Pratikkumar Patel’s ability to act in the corporate arena, and should serve as a warning to other directors who think they can do as they please.’

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