Press release

Disqualification handed to bar and restaurant company director

Darren Withers (49), director of Jackos Bar Diner Limited in Nairn has been disqualified for three-and-a-half years.

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Jackos Bar Diner Limited was set up as a licensed bar and restaurant.

The disqualification undertaking, from 29 November 2017, comes after an Insolvency Service investigation found he had caused Jackos Bar Diner to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in respect of RTI PAYE from 22 May 2013, VAT from 16 January 2015 and Machine Games Duty from 31 May 2013 in that Mr Withers failed to ensure the company complied with its obligation to remit full payment of the liability owed to HMRC for RTI PAY.

As a result a liability of £11,266 remained outstanding at liquidation because:

  • against a liability of £4,252 for tax year 2013/2014 Jackos Bar Diner Limited made payments totalling £3,550 between 29 June 2013 and 04 December 2014 leaving £702 unpaid
  • against a liability of £4,682 for tax year 2014/2015 the company made payments totalling £1,320 between 22 July 2014 and 21 May 2015 leaving £3,362 unpaid
  • against a liability of £6,687 for tax year 2015/2016 and £515 for tax year 2016/2017 the company made no payments leaving £7,202 unpaid

On 27 June 2014 Jackos Bar Diner Limited entered into a time to pay arrangement with HMRC to allow unpaid VAT liabilities, which accrued between May 2013 and May 2014, to be paid at a rate of £300 per week. On 19 November 2014 the time to pay arrangement was renegotiated to weekly payments of £500 to include VAT arrears up to, and including, VAT quarter August 2014 on the provision that future VAT liabilities would be paid, as and when due, in full. Mr Withers failed to ensure Jackos Bar Diner Limited complied with its obligation to remit future payments as and when due between VAT quarters November 2014 and May 2016 as a result a liability of £34,640 remained outstanding at liquidation.

Jackos Bar Diner Limited had an obligation to submit Machine Duty Returns and the relevant remittance to HMRC every three months within 30 days of the end of the accounting period. Between 31 May 2013 and 28 February 2016 Mr Withers failed to ensure Jackos Bar Diner Limited remitted the sum of £1,839 to HMRC for Machine Game Duty, all of which remained outstanding at liquidation.

By the cessation of trading, in May 2016, Jackos Bar Diner Limited owed £1,483 to trade and expense creditors. In comparison HMRC were owed £47,745. This was achieved as a result of Mr Withers causing the company to make payments totalling £259,880 from the company bank account in the period 2 March 2015 to 1 August 2016 from which HMRC received only £6,500. The balance of £253,380 was used to pay trade and expense creditors and meet payment of the company’s overheads.

Robert Clarke, Head of Company Investigation at the Insolvency Service said:

Directors have a firm duty to ensure they deal properly with tax matters and pay what is due. Taxation revenue provides for the benefit of all and cannot simply be ignored .Mr Withers has paid the price for failing to do that, as he cannot now carry on in business for the duration of his disqualification other than at his own risk.

Notes to editors

Darren Withers, date of birth 21 January 1968, is of Pinefield, Morayshire.

Jackos Bar Diner Limited (CRO No. SC435373) traded from 44 Harbour Street, Nairn IV12 4NU.

The company went into compulsory liquidation on 4 November 2016 with a deficiency to creditors of £70,760.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.

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Published 23 November 2017