Stephen James ONeil (44), director of Taxeeze Limited, which operated as a taxi operator and radio controller as well as the renting and leading of cars and light motor vehicles, has been disqualified from being a director for 7 years, following a hearing in Dumbarton Sheriff Court on 3 December

The order against Stephen ONeil from 24 December, prevents him from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for the duration of the order.

On 4 June 2014 Taxeeze, with debts of 72,369, was placed into compulsory liquidation following an HM Revenue & Customs petition at a time when Stephen ONeil was the sole director.

Following the liquidators appointment, the investigation found that from 1 July 2012 to 04 June 2014, Stephen ONeil failed to ensure Taxeeze preserved, or in the alternative, he failed to deliver up accounting records which were adequate to explain the financial standing of the company. Consequently, the Liquidator and the Company Investigations Edinburgh were prevented from:
verifying the companys trading history following the loss of an application for the company to acquire a Taxi Booking Office license in November 2011
verifying what became of the companys assets which at 30 June 2012 had a net book value of 152,421
verifying how receipts paid into the company bank account between 01 July 2012 and 09 June 2014 totaling 469,751 were achieved and whether the receipts were a true reflection of the companys turnover during the period
verifying that the expenditure from the company bank account, in the sum of 456,481 between 02 July 2012 and 28 May 2014 was for bona fide company transactions
verifying the liability owed to HM Revenue & Customs in respect of PAYE Tax and NIC for tax year 2013/2014 as well as VAT between quarters 12/11 to 09/13. As well as verifying why Taxeeze failed to comply with its statutory obligation to prepare and file VAT returns during the aforementioned VAT period.

Verification was further hampered as a result of Stephen ONeil failing to:
comply with the Liquidators request to prepare and submit a Statement of Affairs on behalf of Taxeeze
ensure Taxeeze complied with its obligation to prepare and file annual accounts for the year to 30 June 2013 with the Registrar at Companies House

Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Group Leader - Insolvent Investigations North, said:

Keeping proper records is a pivotal duty for directors and there is no place in the business environment for those who neglect their responsibilities in this area and thereby cover up the activities of the companies they manage. The lack of records in this case made it impossible to determine whether there was other, more serious, misconduct at Taxeeze and that is reflected in the lengthy period of disqua lification .