Peter John Lashmar, a self-proclaimed tax specialist has been disqualified from acting as a director for 7 years by Southampton County Court for failing to make sure his accountancy firm kept proper records, dealt with its tax affairs and registered for VAT.
Mr Lashmars disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service into the business and affairs of Lymington accountancy firm Lashmars (UK) Limited.
The disqualification means that Mr Lashmar cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2022 without leave of the court.
Lashmars (UK) Limited specialised in offering tax advice to businesses and individual clients and, of Mr Lashmar, the companys website claimed: His passion is to help businesses and private clients minimise their tax bills in any way that is legitimate, simple and straight forward.
Unfortunately for Mr Lashmar (64), the Insolvency Service investigation found that, among other things, he failed to ensure that the company dealt properly with its own taxation, leading to a penalty by HMRC for failing to register for VAT when legally required to do so. HMRC determined that this failure was dishonest and issued a Civil Evasion Penalty of 35,270 which remained unpaid when Lashmars (UK) Limited was placed into liquidation. HMRC lodged a claim with the liquidator with regards to unpaid taxes and penalties for 211, 424 in total.
Mr Lashmar did not deliver up records to the liquidator that could explain all of the companys transactions.
Commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service said:
Directors have a clear, statutory duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency.
The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue traders who seek an unfair advantage over their competitors by not paying VAT or PAYE to the Government. If you run a limited company, you have statutory protections as well as obligations. If you fail to comply with your obligations, the Insolvency Service will investigate you and you could lose the protection of limited liability.
In addition to being disqualified from acting in the management of a company for seven years at Southampton County Court on 3 March 2015, Mr Lashmar was ordered to pay costs of 5,500.