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Property developers disqualified for tax avoidance

  • 07/08/2020
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Property developers disqualified for tax avoidance
Two property developers have been disqualified by the Insolvency Service after failing to pay tax on land deals.


Richard Black and William Edmiston, both from Scotland, have been banned for a total of 13 years.

It means the pair cannot act as a director or become directly involved in the forming or management of a company.

Mellerstain Developments was incorporated in 2020 with the company developing building projects in central Scotland.

However, the firm began to struggle and entered liquidation in August 2018 which is where it came to the attention of the Insolvency Service.

Investigators found that in June 2016, Mellerstain Developments sold land to two of the company’s directors Black and Edmiston.

The land had been the last asset the company owned and when it was sold, the company owed the tax authorities more than £31,000.

However, Mellerstain Developments paid Edmiston £24,000 from the land sale while £11,000 was paid to an undisclosed party. Nothing was paid to the tax authorities.

The property developers did not dispute acting to the detriment of the tax authorities.

Black has been banned for six years, while Edmiston is banned for seven years, and their bans take effect from 29 July 2020.

Rob Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Directors have a duty to ensure the correct amount of tax is paid but Richard Black and William Edmiston clearly thought the rules didn’t apply to them.

“Thankfully their activities were brought to the attention of the Insolvency Service. Their bans should serve as a stark warning to other directors there are severe consequences if you put your interests ahead of your creditors.”


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