Hassan Serce, the only director of Sertan Limited, a wholesaler of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, has been disqualified from acting as a director by for 11 years by the County Court at Peterborough, for failing to declare alcohol duty to HMRC, submitting false VAT returns, failing to keep records and filing inaccurate accounts.

The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Sertan Limited began trading in July 2010 and was unable to reach the level of turnover to make a profit due to the low profit margins and competition in the industry. In October 2012, Sertan ceased trading and was placed into Liquidation on 2 July 2013.

The investigation by the Insolvency Service found that in September 2012, HMRC had conducted a visit to Sertans premises and inspected the companys accounting records. Further investigation took place over the following months and it was identified that the records showed that Sertan had sold more stock than it had purchased and that alcohol had been purchased without evidence of duty payment. HMRCs investigations also identified undeclared sales made by the Company and raised additional VAT assessments.

HMRCs investigations also established that the stock levels recorded in the Companys accounts for the year end 31 December 2010 and 2011 filed at Companies House, were also inaccurate.

Mr Serce (27) also failed to provide the Liquidator with records that can explain various cash payments and receipts made to and from the Companys current account, including cash withdrawals totalling 43,000 from the companys bank and payments made to a former company director totalling 58,750.

At the date of Liquidation Sertan did not have any assets and liabilities of 126,178. HMRC are owed 74,903.
Commenting on the disqualification, Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors who submit false information to HMRC and fail to pay duty when due, can expect to be investigated by the Insolvency Service and enforcement action taken to remove them from the market place.

Mr Serce caused HMRC to lose at least 75k by not declaring duty and filing false returns. He also filed false accounts and did not maintain adequate accounting records. Taking action against Mr Serce is a warning to directors of their duties to comply with their tax duties and obligations.