Various property bosses have been banned for abusing tax regimes. Owners of an East London property lettings company have been banned for a total of 13.5 years after abusing the tax authorities and failing to maintain company records. Harrison Property Partners Ltd was incorporated in May 2012 and offered property lettings and property management services, trading from offices in Tower Hamlets, East London. Six years later in February 2018, Harrison Property Partners went into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation. The company’s insolvency triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Investigators uncovered that the company’s directors: Khushal Khagram, Andrew Matin and Alan George had either failed to maintain company records or abused the tax regime, leading to all three being banned from running limited companies for a total of 13.5 years.
Reasons for banning the directors
Alan George Clark (39), of Benfleet, Essex, was the first to be banned for 3.5 years in August 2020 after investigators uncovered he failed to submit tax returns while he was a director from September 2013 until he resigned in July 2016 and traded to the detriment of the tax authorities. Tax returns submitted after Alan Clark left Harrison Property Partners showed that close to £191,000 was owed to the tax authorities following his misconduct. Andrew Geoffrey Matin (34) was of Thames Ditton in Surrey was the next director to be banned. The property boss was removed from the Companies House register for 6 years in August 2021 after investigators exposed that Andrew Matin failed to ensure the company maintained sufficient accounting records and/or failed to deliver these to the liquidator. Andrew Matin’s misconduct means it is not possible to verify many of Harrison Property Partners’ activities. Including whether more than £770,000 spent was on legitimate business expenditure, confirming the nature of 50 payments to 3 accounts totalling £187,600, determining the level of remuneration taken by Andrew Matin, and the exact reasons for the property company’s insolvency. During his time as director, Matin also failed to ensure the property company submitted tax returns between October 2016 and February 2018 and traded to the detriment of the tax authorities. Since the property company went into liquidation, the tax authorities are owed more than £309,000 in tax liabilities – a rise in liabilities owed compared to the tenure of Alan Clark. Khushal Khagram (52), of Finchley, North London, an accountant by trade, was the last of the directors to be banned on 24 November 2021 for 4 years. Investigators uncovered that Khagram had committed misconduct similar to both Clark and Matin in that he failed to ensure the property company submitted tax returns between October 2016 and February 2018 and traded to the detriment of the tax authorities. As is the case with Andrew Matin, the tax liabilities owed by the company increased under Khagram’s directorship.
The Disqualification Orders
Khagram, Matin, and Clark had their disqualification undertakings accepted by the Secretary of State and are banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation, or management of a company. Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Director of Insolvent Investigations, said: “All three property bosses totally disregarded their responsibilities as company directors. The absence of proper company records means we cannot verify legitimate business activities and the failure to submit tax returns means they also abused the taxpayer in the process. 13-and-a-half years is a considerable amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena and will protect creditors and the taxpayer from any further harm caused by Khagram, Matin, and Clark.”
About the author
Iain Bould Iain heads Beeston Shenton Solicitors’ commercial litigation department. Iain has 30 years of experience in Commercial Debt Recovery and Insolvency fields having worked in both Private Practice and Industry and has extensive experience working across all industry sectors and has particular expertise in working with Insolvency Practitioners in advising and recovering outstanding insolvent company ledgers. Iain brings a pragmatic and commercial approach to legal claims and disputes.
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