Trading against HMRC rules lands Ravensden company director with hefty bill

Bedford Magistrates' Court.
Bedford Magistrates' Court.

A company director has been fined £4,200 and ordered to pay £40,000 compensation to HM Revenue and Customs for breaching a trading sanction.

Simon Lawson, of Ravensden Road, Renhold, was the director of Bedford-based Kiss Cards Ltd.

When he registered the business for VAT in August 2011, HMRC stipulated he must pay a VAT security of £180,400 to safeguard against future tax losses, after a previously unsuccessful business left tax debts of more than £3million. This ‘notice of requirement’ to pay a VAT security warns a trader they cannot supply taxable goods and services and face criminal prosecution, if the money is not paid and they continue trading.

Lawson failed to pay the security to HMRC. His card company went into administration in August 2012 leaving VAT debts of more than £330,000.

The 44-year-old was summonsed to appear before Bedford Magistrates’ Court on February 19 this year and pleaded guilty to eight offences of making taxable supplies without paying a security deposit, contrary to the VAT Act 1994.

He was sentenced at Luton Magistrates’ Court on March 11.

HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation Colin Booker said: “Insolvent traders like Lawson deprive the UK of public funds.

“We will continue to tackle non-compliance and investigate those who walk away from unsuccessful businesses leaving tax debts, only to begin trading as a new entity shortly after.”