BusinessVAT

Caterer receives seven-year ban for tax avoidance

Patrick Olusoji Ekundayo is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company

Patrick Olusoji Ekundayo has received a seven-year disqualification and was issued with a penalty of more than £128,000 by the tax authorities after he avoided paying £500,000 in taxes.

Ekundayo’s ban started on 4 February 2021, and he is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Ekundayo was the sole director of Peaches Limited which was incorporated in August 2010, provided catering services and managed social events.

At its most successful trading period, Peaches hosted up to 60 functions per year and took an average of £10,000 to £15,000 per event.

By March 2013, Ekundayo’s company turnover had reportedly “significantly exceeded” the VAT registration threshold and in January 2014 the caterer was advised to register for VAT by his accountant.

However he failed to register the catering company and this caused the tax authorities to compulsorily register Peaches for VAT in November 2017, backdating registration to March 2013.

Despite the registration, the Insolvency Service claimed Ekundayo did not submit any tax returns and in July 2018, Peaches went into liquidation.

The catering business’ insolvency triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service, which confirmed that Patrick Ekundayo’s failure to register for VAT was deliberately non-compliant. Enquiries also found that the caterer had under-declared corporation tax and national insurance contributions of more than £264,000.

On 14 January 2021, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy accepted an undertaking from Ekundayo, after he did not dispute that he had failed to ensure that the company was registered for VAT, failed to submit VAT returns and under declared corporation tax and national insurance contributions.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of insolvent investigations at the insolvency service, said: “Patrick Ekundayo failed to register his company for VAT and did not submit any VAT returns throughout the company’s lifetime resulting in more than £500,000 in lost taxes to the public purse.

“This behaviour was deliberately non-compliant and we have now removed him from being involved in any business for a period of seven years.”

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