Brighton shop loses drinks licence over £100k tax bill

Posted On 01 Aug 2017 at 5:13 pm

A Brighton shop has had its drinks licence revoked after running up a bill of more than £100,000 for corporation tax and VAT (value-added tax).

Koray Tatlidede, 33, the owner of Tipple, in Queen’s Road, appealed to Brighton Magistrates’ Court after the decision by a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel.

But magistrates dismissed Mr Tatlidede’s appeal and ordered him to pay the council’s legal costs of £3,440.

It was the second time that Tipple’s licence has been revoked since the Turkish businessman became the licensee seven years ago.

The last time, in 2011, after the shop was caught selling counterfeit booze, a deal was struck and, instead of being revoked, the drinks licence was suspended for three months.

This time, the licensing panel, which met in January, was told that Mr Tatlidede had pleaded guilty to four charges of evading corporation tax and VAT, two of them relating to Tipple.

The offences took place over four years.

Mr Tatlidede was given a suspended prison sentence in May last year and was required to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Council officials said that it was “necessary and proportionate” to revoke Tipple’s licence to prevent crime and disorder – in line with the council’s licensing objectives.

The council said that there had been a lengthy history of offences at the premises and the licence had been revoked previously.

Although the latest problems with Tipple were different, they still “gave grounds for lack of confidence that they fully understood their legal responsibilities in running a business appropriately”.

Mr Tatlidede told the licensing panel that he considered that the portrait of him which had been painted was unfair.

He said that it indicated that deliberate illegal activity had taken place, whereas this was not the case.

He had been naïve and had not fully understood his responsibilities at the outset. And he had entrusted the day to day running of the premises to people who had not been trustworthy.

He had been punished for these lapses on his part and did not consider that he should be punished again as he had learnt his lesson.

He was also paying off his tax debts to Revenue and Customs which would be harder without his premises licence.

He said that he was simply asking for another chance.

When his plea was turned down, he appealed to magistrates to overrule the licensing panel’s verdict.

Instead the bench upheld it and added the costs bill to his outstanding tax bill.

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