Peter John Lashmar, a self-proclaimed ‘tax specialist’ has been disqualified from acting as a director for 7 years by Southampton County Court for failing to make sure his accountancy firm kept proper records, dealt with its tax affairs and registered for VAT.
Mr Lashmar’s disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service into the business and affairs of Lymington accountancy firm Lashmars (UK) Limited.
The disqualification means that Mr Lashmar cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2022 without leave of the court.
Lashmars (UK) Limited specialised in offering tax advice to businesses and individual clients and, of Mr Lashmar, the company’s website claimed: “His passion is to help businesses and private clients minimise their tax bills in any way that is legitimate, simple and straight forward.”
Unfortunately for Mr Lashmar (64), the Insolvency Service investigation found that, among other things, he failed to ensure that the company dealt properly with its own taxation, leading to a penalty by HMRC for failing to register for VAT when legally required to do so. HMRC determined that this failure was dishonest and issued a Civil Evasion Penalty of £35,270 which remained unpaid when Lashmars (UK) Limited was placed into liquidation. HMRC lodged a claim with the liquidator with regards to unpaid taxes and penalties for £211, 424 in total.
Mr Lashmar did not deliver up records to the liquidator that could explain all of the company’s transactions.
Commenting on the disqualification, Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service said:
Directors have a clear, statutory duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency.
The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue traders who seek an unfair advantage over their competitors by not paying VAT or PAYE to the Government. If you run a limited company, you have statutory protections as well as obligations. If you fail to comply with your obligations, the Insolvency Service will investigate you and you could lose the protection of limited liability.
In addition to being disqualified from acting in the management of a company for seven years at Southampton County Court on 3 March 2015, Mr Lashmar was ordered to pay costs of £5,500.
Notes to editors
Lashmars (UK) Limited (Company No 04153380) was incorporated on 2 February 2001. Peter Lashmar and his wife, Margaret Lashmar, were the directors of the company. Margaret Lashmar resigned as director on 20 February 2012, shortly before her death. The company operated from Suite 210, Palomos House, 66-67 High Street, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 9AL trading as Lashmars. Lashmars (UK) Limited was placed into liquidation on 21 September 2012.
Peter John Lashmar is of Lymington and his date of birth is 19 December 1950.
Company directors may be disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 if their conduct falls below accepted standards. A disqualification order can be made by a court in proceedings brought under the Act. The members of limited liability partnerships (“LLPs”) are also covered by the Act, in the same way as company directors.
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
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
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.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.