A Bury-based tax consultancy has been wound up after it “misrepresented its ability to obtain council tax rebates for customers”.
Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Dalton & Dalton Tax Consultants Ltd was wound up in the High Court on 4 April.
The investigation found the company made “unsolicited calls” to arrange home visits by sales agents to prospective customers.
Agents “told prospective customers that they were likely to be successful with an application for council tax re-banding and hence a rebate of council tax paid in previous years.”
Customers were required to pay an upfront fee of £165 to engage the company and if successful, Dalton & Dalton Tax Consultants was able to retain a 25% “success fee”.
However, the company’s income showed that it had banked receipts totalling £1,085,946 of which £1,045,821 represented the upfront fees paid by customers and just £17,688 of the company’s income was from success fees.
Just 1% of the 2,750 concluded council tax banding challenges made by the company had been successful.
Colin Cronin, investigation supervisor at the Insolvency Service, said: “Dalton & Dalton Tax Consultants Ltd grossly overstated its ability to achieve council tax re-banding and rebates for its customers, thereby inducing customers to pay an advance fee of £165 for this service.
“It is telling that the company’s income was derived almost entirely from these advance fees and very little was from the success fees to which it was entitled if it achieved financial rebates for customers.
“These winding-up proceedings show that the Insolvency Service will take firm action against companies which mislead the public in this way.”