Property tax cheats banned as directors

Property developers who tried to dodge paying £500,000 in corporation tax by placing their firm in liquidation without settling the debt have been banned from acting as directors for four years by The Insolvency Service.

Walid Wasfi Wasif Musmar, 38, and Antoni Fields , 53, of Barnet, London, ran Oberon Properties Ltd, which sold a property in May 2007 for just over £3.5 million and should have paid £500,000 tax on the profits in August 2008.

Instead, both paid £3,727,845, out of Oberon – including loans totalling £640,000 – to another company they also ran as directors, but failed to pay any corporation tax.

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Fields gave an undertaking not to act as a company director for four years from November 16, 2010. Musmar’s four-year ban starts on December 14, 2012, following an order made by a judge at a hearing in the High Court, London.

Oberon went into liquidation in December 2008 owing £535,563 corporation tax.

Mark Bruce, a Chief Examiner at The Insolvency Service said: “Directors who seek an unfair advantage by not paying tax should not expect to get away with it. This conduct harms commercial confidence and the UK’s reputation as a place to do business.

“Other directors tempted to follow this path should remember that if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to its customers, its creditors or the public they lose the protection afforded by limited liability. The Insolvency Service will investigate them and seek to remove them from the business environment.”

The same tax rules apply to private landlords running shared houses or buy to let property businesses through a company.

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