Pub boss who admitted VAT offence could be facing insolvency court told

A Foulridge pubs boss has owned up to a VAT offence and HMRC want him to hand over 30,000, acourt has heard.
A Foulridge pubs boss has owned up to a VAT offence and HMRC want him to hand over 30,000, acourt has heard.
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A Foulridge pubs boss has owned up to a VAT offence and HMRC want him to hand over £30,000, a court was told.

Andrew Stopforth, of the Hare and Hounds Inn, Skipton Road, appeared before Burnley magistrates, where he admitted the allegation.

The 50-year -old pleaded guilty to supplying goods/services without giving a security when required, between April 1st and September 30th, last year, at Colne.

He was in contravention of a condition requiring him to give a security for the payment of any Value Added Tax, which was or may have become due from him. The maximum penalty for the offence is a £20,000 fine.

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, said the case was brought by HMRC. The defendant had been served with a notice over VAT payment and didn't respond to that.

She told the hearing:"He didn't pay it, despite the officers trying regularly to contact the defendant. I think he did send in a couple of returns, but didn't send in any money."

The HMRC was seeking £30,000 compensation.

Mrs Mann added:"The defendant is being taken to court in London in a couple of weeks. That might result in insolvency."

Mr Daniel Frazer, representing Stopforth, told the hearing:"On June 12th, there is a hearing in London, in order to see what the future is for Stopforth Taverns Ltd and Mr Stopforth himself.

The solicitor continued:" There is a debt of £116,000. I anticipate some of this is encompassed in that."

Stopforth will be sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates' Court on Friday, June 21st, when, the hearing was told, a second charge may be laid in respect of the company.