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These firms have been named and shamed for defaulting on thousands of pounds in tax

PUBLISHED: 12:01 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:25 13 July 2018

Some of the companies blamed accounting errors for appearing on the HMRC list. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphot

Some of the companies blamed accounting errors for appearing on the HMRC list. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphot

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Companies in Norfolk and Suffolk have been named and shamed by HMRC for “deliberately” defaulting on thousands of pounds in tax.

HMRC has named and shamed companies for deliberately defaulting on tax. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotHMRC has named and shamed companies for deliberately defaulting on tax. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphot

They include a digital signage consultant from Gorleston, and a Suffolk computer firm, which failed to pay £6.5m.

Meanwhile, a company behind several Burger King outlets defaulted on £110,472 in tax.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it published the firms’ details to “influence behaviour by discouraging non-compliance.”

Those included on the list, which is publicly available online, are stated to have either:

• Deliberately provided one or more inaccurate documents to HMRC

• Deliberately failed to comply with an HMRC obligation

• Committed a VAT or excise wrongdoing.

An HMRC spokesman said: “Publishing taxpayers’ names is not something we do lightly.

“There are safeguards including a right to appeal to the courts before any name is published.”

John Shreeve, director of The Big Screen Company & Persuasive Image, failed to pay £62,707 in tax between September 1, 2011 and 31 August, 2015.

His business, which was based at Church Lane, Gorleston-on-Sea, was hit with a £25,239 penalty charge by HMRC.

Mr Shreeve said HMRC’s conclusion that he had deliberately made false tax returns was “incorrect”.

“I explained that I believed that this was due to me mistakenly allocating capital introduced in my accounts in the wrong way so that in their interpretation this was seen as income, thus massively inflating my tax liability,” he said.

Mr Shreeve said he then “put his trust” in a Norwich accountancy firm which assured him it could resolve the situation.

However, he claimed the firm had failed to achieve anything after a year.

In the end he was forced to move his affairs to an accountant in London, and then to an insolvency practitioner.

Meanwhile, heavy plant hire company Anglian Excavations Ltd, failed to pay £37,575 between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

The firm, which was based at Rattlesden, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was ordered to pay a £16,439 penalty charge.

Despite the debt arising up to eight years ago, the company names have only been published by HMRC in the past 10 months.

HMRC said those on the defaulters list have been dealt with using civil proceedings.

It does not contain convicted tax criminals found guilty at court.

A defaulter’s details are held on the gov.uk website for 12 months from the date they are first published.

HMRC said people can avoid having their details published by cooperating with its compliance checks.

“If you wait until HMRC investigates you, and don’t provide all the information we need right at the start of the investigation, you run the risk of having your details published,” HMRC said.

One the largest tax penalties on the current listing belongs to computer equipment provider Business Networks Management, formerly known as Zambezi Business Management Ltd.

The firm, previously based at Woodrush Road, Purdis Farm, Ipswich, failed to pay £6,543,451 in tax between 1 June and 30 September 2015.

It was ordered to pay a £4,351,394 penalty by HMRC, and went into liquidation in 2016.

Raymond Graves, a friend of one of the company directors, said they would be appealing HMRC’s decision to publish the company details.

He claimed they would also be taking court action for damages.

When asked if the company did deliberately default on £6.5m in tax, Mr Graves, an accountant, said: “I have no evidence supplied to me that they did.”

Meanwhile, CPL Foods Ltd, of Delta Terrace, West Road, Ipswich, defaulted on £110,472 between January 1, 2012 and December 31 that year.

The company, which is now in administration, operated several Burger King franchises across the UK.

It received a £42,531 penalty charge.

Also included on HMRC’s list is David Mills, formerly of 16 High Street, Ipswich and of Red House Farm, Mickfield Road, Stonham Aspal, Stowmarket.

HMRC said he defaulted on £56,866 between April 2010 and April 2015. It listed his trade as “other income”.

Attempts have been made to contact directors of all of the companies listed above.

•View the full list from HMRC here

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