John Twiggs, director of Lettuce Design Ltd in Kent, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for four years after failure to pay tax. The disqualification follows an investigation by The Insolvency Service.

Mr Twiggs, 51, of Hever, Kent, has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, that he will not act as a director of a limited company from 3 January 2013 to 2017.

The investigation showed that Lettuce Design Ltd, which traded for only one year, deducted Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC)of 188,160 from its employees salaries, but failed to pay any of this amount to HM Revenue & Customs.

The company had provided administrative and production services to a group of three connected companies in the book publishing market between September 2009 and September 2010.

All of the groups employees had been transferred to Lettuce Design following the collapse of a fourth company in the group. Lettuce Design Ltd went into creditors voluntary liquidation on 9 December 2010 owing 430,999 to its creditors, including HMRC.

Commenting on Mr Twiggs disqualification, David Brooks, a Chief Examiner with The Insolvency Service stated:
The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue traders who seek an unfair advantage over their competitors by not paying their Pay As You Earn and National Insurance Contributions to the Government when they have actually deducted it from employees should not expect to get away with it.
This disqualification should serve as a reminder that the Insolvency Service will investigate unacceptable conduct by company directors, including failure to pay tax.