back to article Aria Technology loses Court of Appeal bid over £750k VAT dispute

The Court of Appeal has thrown out Aria Technology's efforts to squeeze out of a £300k tax bill after HMRC found £750k of the firm's input tax was not creditable*. Top judges have ordered the company to pay the UK tax collector's legal bills in the case. The ruling marks the third consecutive loss in court for the company over …

  1. steamnut

    Bankruptcy next?

    Well, they fought and fought and fought again and lost! With all that VAT and HMRC fees to pay, as well as their lawyer's fees (never cheap), then I guess they will just pull the plug on themselves. The week after, someone will pick up the company for a £1 and start all over again. Then the whole exercise will have been a waste of time and HMRC (aka taxpayers) will still not have their money.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Bankruptcy next?

      It looks like that already happened many years ago.

      Velo Systems is a related company, it's balance sheet has some actual substance to it, with things like stock and money in the bank. Aria has basically nothing in it.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Bankruptcy next?

        hmm I remember seeing Aria on Secret Millionaire (Or a similar program in the UK), at that point Aria was living at the warehouse.

        Is the warehouse now owned by Velo?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Bankruptcy next?

          The warehouse appears to be owned by Aria Land Limited, another related company.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: Bankruptcy next?

            Sounds like a theme park!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bankruptcy next?

      >The week after, someone will pick up the company for a £1

      Bumping the company won't save you from the Taxman, he's first the queue and has powers ordinary creditors can only dream of.

    3. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Bankruptcy next?

      Doesn't mean HMRC should let them get away with it. There are always consequences, not only to crime. but to the decision to prosecute crime.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good. Aria can keep squirming and paying legal fees - he must have spent a huge amount on top of the actual tax which he's still got to pay. I hope HMRC go after him properly and seize his assets to pay the debt. It's only fair, if they're going after the self employed they should be even handed and go after the bigger firms too.

    1. Maverick

      it's a limited company so can't 'go after him' unless he has offered guarantees which would be unusual

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        HMRC requires a named individual to be registered for VAT not a company...

        1. Alex Brett

          Er, no they don't - the legal entity registers for VAT. There are certain responsibilities of a director of a Ltd company and you can sometimes have a criminal prosecution against someone, but any VAT liability does not automatically fall against a person...

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            I think you'll find that it is the named individual that carries the responsibility for the correct filing of VAT returns etc.

            Certainly all the FD's I've known have been very careful about taking on any existing VAT responsibilities on appointment and ensuring their VAT responsibilities are correctly transferred to someone else before they finally wave goodbye and drive into the blue yonder, plus ensuring the employer takes out appropriate insurance cover...

            However, yes I agree the VAT liability doesn't automatically fall against the named individual, HMRC just targets the named individual to "encourage" prompt submission and payment etc.

      2. tellytart

        Limited only offers protection as long as you obey the law. Once you start defrauding the taxman you lose the protection being a limited company offers the directors of the company.

      3. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Boffin

        The authorities can go after Directors in certain circumstances, such as criminal activity. And if criminal activity can be proven, proceeds of crime can go after Directors assets.

        Limited Companies do provide some protections, but not carte blanche otherwise there would be a lot more criminal activity hidden behind them.

  3. macjules Silver badge
    Mushroom

    A warning to us all.

    Never piss off a vulture.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

      Re: A warning to us all.

      I doubt Mr Corfield is pissed off at all, it's probably one of the highlights on his CV.

  4. The Godfather
    Mushroom

    Out we go then...

    Insolvency now guaranteed with new set up. Easy-peasy.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022