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Restaurateur banned for nine years after concealing tax

A restaurateur behind Cyan Restaurant in Glasgow, has been banned from being a company director for nine years after he “concealed” over £130,000 in tax from HMRC.

David Cowan was the sole director of Avenbrae Limited, the company behind Cyan Restaurant, it began trading in August 2014, but did not register for VAT until August 2015.

He then failed to ensure the company filed quarterly VAT returns, which he was duty-bound to do as company director, causing HMRC to raise assessments on the company’s behalf, which were only partially paid.

In June 2017, an HMRC investigation uncovered that the company had been concealing VAT since August 2014. In September 2017, they requested immediate payment of the outstanding amount.

At the point of liquidation, the company owed HMRC £195,000 in VAT, including fines for unpaid tax and VAT due for the final quarter of trading. In addition, the company owed other creditors almost £23,000.

Effective from 28 August 2019, he is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Robert Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “David Cowan failed to observe his statutory duties as a company director to comply with VAT obligations, and his business gained a competitive advantage as a result, which is unacceptable behaviour.

“Any other directors who behave in this way should expect an Insolvency Service investigation and a lengthy ban.”

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