Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Disgraced Road Haulage Director Due for a Spell of Gardening Leave after Financial Trickery

Hey Presto - Tax Money Vanishes as Magic Transport Firm Disappears
Shipping News Feature

UK – Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Harley Wenman, the director of Ipswich based road haulage company Magic Transport Limited, has been disqualified from acting as a director for three years and six months, as of May 21, after paying his other creditors but failing to pay taxes. Magic Transport went into voluntary liquidation in November 2011 owing £281,069 including £252,464 to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in unpaid tax, a road down which many in the world of freight transport have travelled before.

Wenman has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable that he will not act as a director of a limited company for the duration of his ban. Putting suppliers ahead of the tax authorities is a policy which tempts many directors who see it as a more honourable option when financial ruin looms before them. Needless to say those responsible for the public purse disagree vehemently and commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, a Chief Examiner at The Insolvency Service said:

“Directors who fail to pay taxes, especially after taking money from the public should not expect to get away with it as the money rightly belongs to the taxpayer. Other directors tempted to follow this path should get the message: if you run a business in a way that is detrimental to either customers or creditors you can expect to lose the protection afforded by limited liability. The Insolvency Service will investigate and remove you from the business environment.”

The company failed to submit VAT returns between December 2009 and September 2011 and as a result HMRC raised assessments and surcharges totalling £127,030 but just paid back £6,230. The company also incurred PAYE debts of £95,751 between April 2009 and November 2011 but only paid £15,218. From April 2009 and November 2011, £1,626,060 was paid out of the company bank account, of which £1,143,827 was paid in respect of trade and expenses.