Two brothers have been disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of 16 years for failing to pay VAT worth £1.3m to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Asif Ibrahim Bux and Firoz Ibrahim Bux of Preston-based Goldacre Estates Ltd were disqualified for eight years each following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
At the time of liquidation in March 2012, Goldacre Estates owed creditors £2,860,863, of which £1,737,456 was owed to HMRC – including £1,308,125 in VAT, penalties and interest.
HMRC has also made a contingent claims for £1,456,194 regarding the company’s participation in a tax avoidance scheme.
Ken Beasley, official receiver in the Public Interest Unit at The Insolvency Service, said: “The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to investigate, disqualify and remove from the business environment directors whose companies defraud the public purse.”
“This is not a victimless crime, and companies that do not pay their taxes deprive the taxpayer of the funds needed to run public services.”
Following the investigation, the Bux brothers did not dispute that under their control, Goldace Estates sold a commercial property in Preston in December 2007 for £8,783,125 and £1,308,125 in VAT.
They however did not declare the chargeable VAT to HMRC in the company’s VAT return in January 2008.
The Bux brothers could not account for the VAT they collected, and therefore could not pay it to HMRC.