An electrician from Nottingham who owed over £100,000 in unpaid VAT has been disqualified from being a director for five years.
Stuart Palethorpe, 33, was the sole director of th electrical installation firm On Form Electrical, which traded from early 2015 until November 2018. The business was wound up by HMRC in 2018 because of the outstanding VAT arrears and the Official Receiver was appointed to liquidate the business. There followed an investigation by the Insolvency Service, which found for the last three years of trading, Palethorpe had not paid the company’s VAT returns.
When the business was liquidated in December 2018, On Form Electrical owed £102,417 in unpaid VAT.
Investigators believed that because Palethorpe had failed to maintain adequate accounting records, the business may have owed an even higher amount. It was also not possible for the Official Receiver to determine if the money taken out of the business bank account had been used for legitimate purposes.
Stuart Palethorpe was given a five-year disqualification order by the High Court, which began on 30 November 2021. This prevents him from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation, or management of a company without the permission of the court.
Dave Elliot, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service said: “Directors must ensure their companies pay the correct taxes but enquiries proved that Mr. Palethorpe failed to do so while he ran the company.
“The electrician’s ban should serve as a warning to directors that if you fail to fulfill your obligations and seek to gain an unfair advantage over competitors, by failing to properly account and pay for your tax, you could lose the protection of limited liability.”