Crime

Director banned for a decade over VAT fraud

She failed to take tax authorities advice to conduct diligent checks on suppliers

The director of Cis Pay UK, an administration services provider, has been banned from directing a company for a decade after fraudulently evading £373,000 in VAT.

Laura Theophilus, director at the Cambridge-based firm, registered the company for VAT after its incorporation in February 2012, and proceeded to submit VAT returns for five consecutive quarters between January 2017 and January 2018.

However, she was warned in April 2017 by tax authorities that a number of the group’s purchases from a supplier had been linked to tax losses.

Theophilus was told to partake in diligent checks regarding her suppliers but failed to do so, resulting in the firm submitting inaccurate VAT returns and payments.

In turn, the director owed tax authorities a further £373,000 in VAT payments which ended in a voluntary liquidation of Cis Pay UK.

Dave Elliott, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “As a company director, Laura Theophilus had a duty to ensure Cis Pay UK paid the correct amount of tax. Despite this, she involved her company with suppliers who she knew, or ought to have known, weren’t following their obligations.

“Theophilus has been banned from the business environment for ten years and a ban of this length sends a clear message that tax abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.”

Theophilus did not dispute that her company participated in transactions that were connected with the fraudulent evasion of VAT, landing her with the decade ban effective from 1 February 2021.

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