VAT dispute sees haulage director disqualified for nearly nine years

A UK haulage director who failed to report or pay Value Added Tax (VAT) has been disqualified for nearly nine years.

Mr Steven Heard, of Kent-based logistics firm LVH Services, was investigated by The Insolvency Service (IS), who discovered that he had neither reported nor paid some £500,000 of VAT.

The firm, first set up in 2008, had de-registered for VAT in April 2012.

However, during an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) probe into the records of an associated company in 2013, HMRC found that LVH had been issuing VAT invoices to the associated firm.

LVH re-registered for VAT in 2014, but entered into liquidation the same year, owing £654,960 in VAT-related surcharges interest and penalties.

Cheryl Lambert, IS chief investigator, said: “Mr Heard oversaw an operation that, over a long period, did not submit accurate information to the tax authorities and, after de-registering for VAT, participated in a scheme to use one company to reduce the VAT exposure of a connected company.

“Consequently, more than £500,000 was not properly reported nor paid to HMRC.

“This is a significant ban, reflecting the severity with which the IS considers the conduct of the director.”

The IS said that the firm’s internal records were poorly maintained and had fallen “extremely short of the standards of competence and integrity.”