Southwick-family run skip firm fined over tax breaches

Posted On 15 Nov 2018 at 12:26 pm

A Skip It lorry

A Southwick family who were prosecuted when an employee at their skip business was badly hurt by machinery have now been fined for breaking tax rules.

Mark and Rachel Penfold, directors of Skip It Containers and Recycling, were given suspended sentences in May over the health and safety breach which saw worker Keith Randall’s arm injured when it became trapped in a conveyor in February 2016.

And last week, the brother and sister along with their parents John and Stephanie Penfold were fined for failing to pay a security bond to Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which they had been required to pay after previous tax defaults.

Mark, 47, of Oldfield Crescent, Rachael, 44, of Croft Avenue, and John, 77, and Stephanie, 69, of Roman Crescent, were all previously directors of another business, called just Skip It Containers, based in Newhaven.

The business, which was started by John and Stephanie Penfold in 1989, suffered a fire at its Newhaven premises in December 2014 which took six days to put out. It also had premises in Basin Road South – at the Hove end of Shoreham Harbour.

This company went into administration in May last year, weighed down by debts which were blamed on the fire. These included £153,000 which was owed to HMRC.

However, the previous month the family had set up a new company, called Skip It Containers and Recycling, and it was on this company that HMRC served a “Notice of Requirement”.

The company failed to pay the bond and continued to trade, contravening the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

Skip It Containers paid part of the security bond ahead of the sentence handed down at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 7 November.

Richard Wilkinson, assistant director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “This family was wrong to think they could get away with trading without following the rules.

“Anyone who is VAT registered, but has a history of failing to meet their tax obligations, may be required to pay a security bond as a precautionary measure to protect future tax revenue.

“It is a criminal offence if the bond is not paid, and only right that we tackle those businesses who commit this type of crime.”

Magistrates ordered the company to pay compensation of £20,460 and it was fined £700 for failing to pay a security bond owing to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £70.

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