Two brothers who ran a London restaurant have been banned for a total of 12 years for failing to pay £173,000 in taxes
Carlos Enrique De La Cruz Vidal, from south east London, and Fernando De La Cruz Vidal, from Granada in Spain, were appointed directors of Santo Ltd in April 2007 on the same date as the company was incorporated.
The company traded as a restaurant called Santo on Portobello Road, west London, but entered into creditors voluntary liquidation in December 2018.
A subsequent Insolvency Service investigation established that Santo Ltd was subject to enquiries by the tax authorities in November 2017 after issues were discovered relating to the company’s tax returns.
HMRC found that from September 2014 to September 2017 the brothers had suppressed the company’s takings by more than £173,000 and overstated the amount of takings that were non-taxable.
By the time the company had gone into liquidation in December 2018 the tax authorities claimed almost £200,000 in the liquidation.
The brothers did not dispute that they caused inaccurate tax returns to be submitted to the tax authorities by supressing their sales income, and each has been disqualified from acting as a director for a six-year period.
Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Customers have a right to expect that the tax they pay on their food is given to the tax authorities.
‘Instead, Carlos and Fernando De La Cruz Vidal substantially underdeclared the tax due and in doing so both failed to take their responsibilities as directors seriously.
‘Carlos and Fernando have now been removed from the business environment for six years and these bans should further serve as a warning to other directors that if you do not pay the correct taxes you run the serious risk of being disqualified.’