Outstanding tax lands engineering boss with 7-year ban: UK

Engineering boss from Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, banned from running companies for seven years after he failed to pay correct tax over four years.

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Victor Craig Morrell (49) was the sole director of Specmar Ltd, a company that provided engineering support services to the oil and gas industry.

However, Specmar entered into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation in January 2017 due to difficult trading conditions and after it failed to pay thousands of pounds of unpaid tax.

After the company was wound up, investigators from the Insolvency Service looked into the conduct of Victor Morrell and his role into the failure of the company.

Investigators confirmed that over a four-year period between August 2012 and February 2016, Victor Morrell filed inaccurate tax returns on behalf of the Specmar, where he inappropriately claimed input tax on items that were out of scope.

After personal expenses were disallowed, it was calculated that due to the incorrect filing of tax returns, Victor Morrell changed from being a creditor of Specmar in August 2014 to owing the company’s Director’s Loan Account more than £350,000 at liquidation in January 2017.

On 22 August 2018, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Victor Morrell after the company director did not dispute the fact that he submitted inaccurate tax returns.

Effective from 14 September 2018, Victor Morrell is now banned for 7 years from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Robert Clarke, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a firm duty to ensure they deal properly with tax matters and pay what is due. Taxation revenue provides for the benefit of all and cannot simply be ignored.

Victor Morrell has paid the price for failing to do that as he cannot now carry on in business other than at his own risk.

Notes

Mr Victor Morrell, of Peterhead and whose date of birth is July 1969.

Specmar Limited (Company Reg no. SC384447)

Mr Morrell signed a seven year undertaking on 22 August 2018 which was agreed on 24 August 2018. The disqualification commenced 14 September 2017.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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