A restaurant boss has been banned for five years after he underreported the business’s takings to avoid paying the correct tax.

Simla Restaurant Ltd, which operated as Simla Tandoori from premises in Blandford Forum, Dorset, was incorporated in December 2002. The company entered into liquidation in August 2019, triggering an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Director hid takings to avoid paying tax

Investigators discovered that the business traded without issue until June 2008, when it was revealed that the director, Sadikur Rahman Chowdhury had caused the company to submit inaccurate tax returns. It was uncovered that Chowdhury owed over £48,000 in VAT and almost £113,000 in corporation tax from 2009 to 2017.

Enquiries showed that Chowdhury had under-declared sales to avoid paying the correct taxes and, at liquidation, owed the tax authorities more than £266,000. He received a further penalty of over £104,000 for the under-declaration of corporation tax.

Restaurant boss banned for five years for tax evasion

On 13 January 2021, the Secretary of State for Business accepted an undertaking from Chowdhury banning him for five years after the director didn’t despite the allegation that he had failed to ensure Simla Restaurant Limited had submitted accurate VAT returns from June 2008 and corporation tax returns from October 2009.

The disqualification commenced on 3 February 2021 and Chowdhury is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for a period of five years.

The deputy director of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, Lawrence Zussman, said: “Sadikur Rahman Chowdhury suppressed the takings of his restaurant for almost eight years so that he could avoid paying the correct taxes.

“This director’s actions meant the public purse was deprived of the funds he should have been paying whilst benefitting from years of good sales. The Insolvency Service will not tolerate behaviour such as demonstrated by Sadikur Chowdhury and we have removed him from the business environment for five years.”


If you’ve received correspondence from HMRC regarding an enquiry into your tax affairs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our expert tax advisors are experienced in representing clients to the Inspector of Taxes during investigations and at the Tax Tribunal.

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