Crime

Restaurateur banned for tax fraud

His firm owed tax authorities over £266,000 at the time of liquidation

The director of Simla Restaurant, a Warwickshire-based firm that traded as Simla Tandoori, has been banned for five years after hiding his business’ takings to avoid taxation.

Incorporated in 2002, Sadikur Rahman Chowdhury’s firm entered administration in August 2019, triggering an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Investigators found that Chowdhury owed over £48,000 in VAT and nearly £113,000 in corporation tax, from between 2009 and 2017.

The service also found that sales had remained undeclared to avoid paying the correct taxes, resulting in Simla Restaurant owing tax authorities over £266,000 at the time of its liquidation.

The director did not dispute the ruling submitted by the secretary of state for business, energy, and industrial strategy on 13 January 2021, leading to a five-year ban.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy director of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: “Chowdhury suppressed the takings of his restaurant for almost eight years so that he could avoid paying the correct taxes.

This director’s actions meant the public purse was deprived of the funds he should have been paying whilst benefiting from years of good sales. The Insolvency Service will not tolerate behaviour such as demonstrated by Sadikur Chowdhury and we have removed him from the business environment for five years.”

In addition to the five-year ban, an additional penalty of over £104,000 was levied for the under declaration of corporation tax.

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