Jonathan Edward Shawyer, the director of Sigma Payroll Services Limited based in Brentwood, Essex, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for six years for paying 6m less tax than was owed to the taxman.

The disqualification, which started on 19 August 2013, follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Mr Shawyer, 45, of Brickenden, Hertfordshire gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills that he will not act as a director of a limited company until August 2019.

Sigma Payroll Services Limited entered voluntary liquidation on 23 June 2010. The investigation found that Mr Shawyer had allowed the company to declare less VAT liability to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) than it owed, in breach of its legal obligations to submit accurate returns and payments.

The company had submitted tax returns for April 2009 March 2010 declaring a total VAT liability of 497,341 which it then paid in full. However HMRC assessments, based on the companys bank activity, showed this was 5,920,648 less than was expected.

Commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, a Chief Examiner in the Insolvency Service, said:
When companies submit incorrect tax returns on time and pay the amounts due immediately, it may take some considerable time for the tax authorities to discover what is really due. This was such a case where nearly 6m in tax was undeclared.
Such behaviour introduces unfair competition in the market and robs hardworking taxpayers of resources needed to run public services.
The Insolvency Service rightly takes such blatant abuse of the tax regime seriously and worthy of a significant disqualification period.