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Ex-England footballer banned as company director

John Barnes has been banned as a company director for three and a half years after his company John Barnes Media Limited failed to pay tens of thousands of pounds in both VAT and corporation tax.

The company went into liquidation in 2023 and investigations by the Insolvency Service revealed that between 2018 and 2020, the 60-year-old’s company failed to pay more than £190,000 in corporation tax and VAT. HMRC was its only known creditor when it ceased trading and it appears that the company had made no payments to HMRC whatsoever during its trading period.

Commenting on the disqualification, Mike Smith, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

‘Individuals and businesses not paying the tax they should deprives the government of the funding it needs to provide vital public services and investment in areas such as schools, hospitals and roads.

‘John Barnes had a legal duty to ensure his company paid the correct amount of corporation tax and VAT. Instead, it paid no tax whatsoever between November 2018 and October 2020, despite receiving earnings of well over £400,000.

‘This disqualification should serve as a deterrent to other directors that if you do not pay your taxes while directing money elsewhere, you are at risk of being banned.’

The ban started on 24 April and prevents him from being involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.

The disqualification also means that you must not get other people to manage a company under your instructions. If you do, those people may also be prosecuted for assisting you in contravening the order or undertaking.

There are also other restrictions for example acting as charity trustee without permission from the court or being a school governor.

Commenting, Jason Elliott, Partner at Cowgills Business Recovery said ‘All directors have a duty to ensure that their tax affairs are kept up to date and in cases of a company failure, HMRC expect an office holder to investigate the conduct of a director and report all incidents of potential breaches of those duties.

In this case it was apparent that HMRC monies had been used to fund the company’s ongoing trade over a long period of time and consequently disqualification proceedings were taken.

Where creditor arrears begin to accrue or directors are uncertain as to the financial position of the company it is imperative that they seek professional advice as soon as possible to ensure that not only do they not breach their duties but that their options will be for restructuring or refinancing are maximised’.

If you need our advice on anything within this article contact our Business Recovery team at Jason.elliott@cowgills.co.uk


The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Business Recovery
Posted by Cowgills
29th April, 2024
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