Sarah Louise Howard, 44, a director of Markham Commercials (Retford) Limited that traded as a garage proprietor has been banned from being a director of a company for a period of seven years for from 30 May 2014 for failing to ensure that the company kept proper books and records or paid its tax liabilities.

Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Group Leader of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:-

Directors of limited companies have a clear, statutory obligation to make sure that they maintain full and accurate records. Without these it is impossible to verify what has happened to company funds, account for its assets or establish whether directors have acted properly.

Directors cannot cloak their actions through a lack of records, or seek to gain an unfair competitive advantage through non-payment of taxes, and the Insolvency Service will take robust action against those who fail to maintain the standards required.

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Ms Howard gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills not to act as a director, manage, or in any way control a company until 30 May 2021.

The investigation found that, despite requests by the liquidator, Ms Markham failed to hand over adequate accounting records and as a result it wasnt possible to establish what had happened to motor vehicles previously owned by the company with an estimated value of 80,700. The lack of records also hampered the liquidators attempts to establish the position on her directors loan account.

As well as not keeping or delivering up company records Ms Howard failed to ensure that Markham complied with its statutory obligation to submit returns and payments to HM Revenue & Customs, leaving them with a debt of 127,851 when the company failed.