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Restaurateurs disqualified for failing to pay £4m in taxes

Two restaurateurs from Glasgow have been banned for a total of 17 years after they caused a loss to HMRC of more than £4 million in unpaid taxes.

Restaurateurs disqualified for failing to pay £4m in taxes
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Sukdev Gill and his business partner Inderjit Singh have been disqualified for a total of 17 years for concealing VAT resulting in losses for HMRC of £1.97 million and £4.37 million, respectively.

Sukdev Gill and Inderjit Singh were directors of five companies – Coin De Indes Buffet Limited, Experience India Limited, Salut E Hind, Seeye Diamonds and Hot Flame World Buffet – 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.

Post-liquidation, HMRC made inquiries 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, Inderjit 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, HMRC looked at the companies’ activities following their liquidation and discovered that Inderjit Singh allowed the buffet restaurant businesses to conceal millions of unpaid tax from HMRC.

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 HMRC that new businesses were continuing the work of previous companies.

“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,” said Robert Clarke, chief investigator for the insolvency service.

The two former directors’ disqualifications come into effect on 20 September. 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.

“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,” Mr Clarke concluded.

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