Football tours operator banned over tax avoidance
Kenneth Moyes, brother of Manchester United’s former manager David Moyes, has been disqualified as director for five years after the Insolvency Service found he withdrew cash from his company to avoid paying tax
Moyes was the owner of Glasgow-based Professional Pre Season Tours, which was involved in arranging pre-season tours for several football clubs including Everton, Chelsea, Liverpool, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Norwich City, Aberdeen, Hibernian and Celtic.
An investigation found that he transferred £300,000 from the company to himself as a “bonus payment” just before the company stopped trading.
The Insolvency Service then found he withdrew at least £420,400 in cash from the company while it was trading, in a bid to avoid tax, which meant the nominal asset of the company turned into a liability and was unable to pay its obligations to HMRC in terms of PAYE and National Insurance contributions.
At liquidation, the company owed £271,180 to creditors, of which £267,113 was to HMRC.
Cheryl Lambert, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service said, “It was a cynical attempt to maintain personal wealth, with the consequence of depriving the public of tax receipts, and he abused the privileges and benefits of limited liability trading.”
Lambert said Moyes kept HMRC in the dark by not filing all returns on time, including partially paying VAT assessments at a sufficient level to avoid attracting priority attention.
“Taking action against him is a warning to all directors that such behaviour will result in a very significant sanction, with a personal consequence. A limited company is not a personal piggy bank for directors,” Lambert added.
The disqualification started last month after approval by the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.