Costas and Chrystalla Castrinakis, directors of Gambino Fish Ltd trading as Quality Fish in Croydon, have been disqualified for a combined period of ten*years.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr and Mrs Castrinakis, disqualifying them for five years from 10 December 2017.

An Insolvency Service investigation found Mr and Mrs Castrinakis caused or allowed the company to submit inaccurate statutory VAT returns to Her Majesty?s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Mr and Mrs Castrinakis?s disqualifications follow collaboration between the Insolvency Service and HMRC.

An in depth HMRC investigation revealed that the company had failed to record all of its cash takings and had therefore under-declared the VAT due to HMRC. As a result, HMRC raised a VAT assessment of ?53,332.

At liquidation the company was stated as owing in excess of ?164,000 to HMRC in relation to arrears of VAT, PAYE and National Insurance contributions and Corporation Tax.

Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Investigations with the Insolvency Service said:

The periods of these disqualifications sends a clear message to other company directors that tax abuse of any kind, particularly when it comes to suppression of cash takings by directors will not be tolerated.

Much of the public service is funded by the correct amount of taxes being paid. By not declaring and paying the correct amount of taxes, the public has been deprived from receiving the services it deserves from the public sector. The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to take action against directors so they cannot abuse limited liability provided by trading through a company.