Warren Smith, the director of Leeds-based Smiths Storage (UK) Limited and Miami Storage Limited which provided warehousing services, has been disqualified for five years from 19 May 2014, for failing to pay taxes.
The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Mr Smith, 53, gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills not to promote, manage or be a director of a limited company until 2019.
Investigators found that Mr Smith had failed to ensure that both companies paid business rates to Leeds City Council and income tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for more than a year.
Smiths Storage UK and Miami Storage were placed into liquidation on 23 June 2011 and 15 February 2012 respectively, owing over £738,000 to creditors including £424,000 in business rates and almost £177,000 to HMRC.
Robert Clarke, Group Leader of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:
Company directors have a duty to ensure businesses meet their legal obligations, including paying taxes. Deliberate neglect of tax affairs is not a victimless action as it deprives the taxpayer of the funds needed to operate public services and introduces unfair competition in the business market.
The Insolvency Service will investigate and disqualify directors who do not comply with their obligations and remove them from the business arena.
Notes to Editors
Smiths Storage (UK) Limited was incorporated on 19 January 2010 and was placed into Liquidation on 23 June 2011.
Miami Storage Limited was incorporated on 17 March 2011 and was placed into Liquidation on 15 February 2012.
Mr Warren Smith signed his undertaking on 28 April 2014 and it commenced on 19 May 2014.
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;
- act as an insolvency practitioner; or
- be a receiver of a company’s property.
In addition many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/Companies/insolvent-companies/director-disqualification-and-other-action.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
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