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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Two UK-based Punjab-origin restaurateurs banned after Rs 352-crore tax dodge

The insolvency service said that after liquidation, tax officials made enquiries into the companies before establishing that all five had participated in some form of tax misconduct, including under-declaring tax, failing to register for VAT and concealing tax owed.

indians-abroad Updated: Sep 19, 2019 12:31 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
According to officials, the duo caused a loss of more than £4 million in unpaid taxes to the UK’s tax department.
According to officials, the duo caused a loss of more than £4 million in unpaid taxes to the UK’s tax department.(AFP File )
         

Two Glasgow-based restaurateurs have been banned from being directors of companies for a total of 17 years after they caused a loss of more than £4 million (nearly Rs 352 crore)in unpaid taxes to the UK’s tax department.

The Insolvency Service said on Wednesday that Sukdev Gill, 55, has been disqualified for eight years, while Inderjit Singh, 47, is banned for nine years. Both caused companies they were associated with to conceal VAT worth £4.37 million.

Gill and Singh were directors of five companies – Coin De Indes Buffet Limited, Experience India Limited, Salut E Hind, Seeye Diamonds and Hot Flame World Buffett – trading as licensed restaurants in or around the Glasgow area.

The five companies were incorporated between 2010 and 2012 but all ceased to exist by March 2018, with each one entering into a form of insolvency, either through compulsory liquidation or creditors voluntary liquidation.

The insolvency service said that after liquidation, tax officials made enquiries into the companies before establishing that all five had participated in some form of tax misconduct, including under-declaring tax, failing to register for VAT and concealing tax owed.

As the companies ceased to operate, Singh then proceeded to incorporate successor companies, all of which traded as “Cook and Indi World Buffet” to continue the activities of the five companies that had gone through insolvency.

However, each of the 14 companies succumbed to the same fate as their predecessors and entered into a form of insolvency. Again, tax officials looked at the companies’ activities following their liquidation and discovered that Singh allowed the buffet restaurant businesses to conceal millions of unpaid tax.

Similar to the actions of their predecessors, the new companies concealed VAT and under-declared tax contributions, while at the same time failed to notify tax officials that new businesses were continuing the work of previous companies.

The two former directors’ disqualifications come into effect on September 20. From this day forward, the pair will be prohibited from being involved, directly or indirectly, in the formation, promotion or management of a company without permission of the court.

Robert Clarke of the Insolvency Service said: “Concealing and failing to pay tax on a grand scale like this was not an administrative error. The two directors knew exactly what they were doing and not only did the exchequer lose out, but their businesses gained an unfair advantage over their competitors.”

“Sukdev Gill and Inderjit Singh have received substantial bans, which will significantly curtail their activities. This should serve as a clear warning to others that if you fail to observe your statutory duties as company directors then the penalties are severe.”

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 01:01 IST

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