Fish shop bosses banned over cash and tax failures

The husband and wife directors of Mr Cod Morden Ltd have each been disqualified from acting as company directors for seven years, after an HMRC investigation found they had under-declared the VAT due on fish shop sales and owed some £500,000 in taxes

Tuncay and Leyla Saglam set up the chippie in 2008. Investigations by HMRC and the Insolvency Service found that they had caused or allowed the company to submit inaccurate statutory VAT returns to HMRC by the deliberate suppression of sales income.

The company had failed to record all of its cash takings and had therefore under-declared the VAT. As a result, HMRC raised a VAT assessment including interest and civil penalties of over £168,000. Additionally, HMRC also reassessed the company’s corporation tax liability to be in excess of £210,000 and raised corporation tax penalties in excess of £141,000.

At liquidation, HMRC stated that the company owed in excess of £545,000 in relation to arrears of VAT, PAYE and National Insurance contributions, and corporation tax.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of investigations with the Insolvency Service, said: ‘The periods of these disqualifications sends a clear message to other company directors that tax abuse of any kind, particularly when it comes to suppression of cash takings by directors will not be tolerated.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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