Tax-dodging timber merchant banned

The Insolvency Service is reporting that an Ipswich timber merchant has been banned from running a company for ten years.
The service found that Forestsale Limited director Stephen Aldous failed to keep adequate accounts and traded in breach of VAT regulations.

Forestsale went into liquidation on 15 June 2011 owing £706,460 to creditors of which £451,433 was to HMRC.

An investigation found it impossible to identify the recipients of cheques totalling £401,103 and what payments of 33,170 were for.

Forestsale deregistered for VAT in October 2003, despite its turnover at the time exceeding the registration threshold.

Between October 2003 and June 2011 Forestsale’s turnover was close to £4m, yet it failed to pay £450,000 in VAT owed on these sales.

Mark Bruce, a Chief Examiner at The Insolvency Service said: “Directors who seek an unfair advantage over their competitors by not paying tax should not expect to get away with it.

“Aldous displayed a cynical attitude to the payment of tax and nearly £500,000 has been lost to the taxpayer. Furthermore, the law requires that company directors must maintain sufficient accounting records that show and explain the company’s transactions.

“This director failed to do either and the volume of unexplained transactions over its trading lifetime was highly suspicious.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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