Restaurant boss banned for hiding takings to avoid £266k tax

A Warwickshire restaurateur has been banned for five years after he hid his business’s true takings to avoid paying the correct taxes

Sadikur Rahman Chowdhury was the director of Simla Restaurant Ltd, incorporated in December 2002.

The company traded as a restaurant called Simla Tandoori from premises in Blandford Forum, Dorset.

Simla Restaurant, however, entered into liquidation in August 2019 and this triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service into Chowdhury’s conduct.

Investigators uncovered that the business traded without issue until June 2008 when it was discovered that Chowdhury had caused Simla Restaurant to submit inaccurate returns to the tax authorities.

Enquiries established that Chowdhury owed over £48,000 in VAT and almost £113,000 in corporation tax from 2009 to 2017.

It was found that Chowdhury had underdeclared sales to avoid paying the correct taxes and, at liquidation, owed the tax authorities more than £266,000. An additional penalty of over £104,000 was levied by the tax authorities for the under declaration of corporation tax.

On 13 January 2021, the Secretary of State for Business accepted an undertaking from Chowdhury banning him for five years after the director did not dispute he failed to ensure Simla Restaurant Limited had submitted accurate VAT returns from June 2008 and corporation tax returns from October 2009.

The disqualification will commence from 3 February 2021 and he is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy director of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Sadikur Rahman Chowdhury suppressed the takings of his restaurant for almost eight years so that he could avoid paying the correct taxes.

‘This director’s actions meant the public purse was deprived of the funds he should have been paying whilst benefitting from years of good sales. The Insolvency Service will not tolerate behaviour such as demonstrated by Sadikur Chowdhury and we have removed him from the business environment for five years.’

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