The owners of a restaurant which was chosen as Best UK Chinese restaurant by Gordon Ramsay on Ramsay’s Best Restaurant have been disqualified after under-declaring the company’s full cash takings to the tax authorities.
Mother and son Ching Yau Yu and Vincent Wai Kit Yu were directors of Kai Hing, which traded as Yu and You Restaurant and Bar, a Chinese eatery in Lancashire which featured on the Channel 4 programme in 2010.
However, Kai Hing entered into difficult trading conditions, and because the company couldn’t pay its debts, the Yus liquidated the company in January 2017, owing their creditors close to £385,000.
Independent insolvency practitioners were appointed to wind-up the business and reported to the Insolvency Service that the company had a substantial amount of tax discrepancies.
This triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service, which discovered that the pair caused the company to under-declare its full cash takings as soon as Kai Hing started trading in September 2011.
Further enquiries found they had already been warned that they had failed to declare more than £600,000 worth of additional sales between October 2011 and January 2016, which would have led to additional tax liabilities of just under £120,000.
And despite making no payments towards the balance of the increased liability, Kai Hing continued to trade until January 2017, while submitting quarterly returns and paying them in full.
Both directors agreed to provide an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy, which prevents them from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Vincent Yu has been banned for seven years, effective from 24 December 2018, while his mother is disqualified for four years. Ching Yu started her ban on 14 December 2018.
Rob Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “This wasn’t a one-off incident where Vincent and Ching Yu failed to declare their full income as the misdemeanour sustained itself throughout the history of the company.
“Directors are expected to carry out their full responsibilities regardless of their role, including paying the right amount of tax. The Yus’ bans should serve as a warning to others that we will investigate misconduct and pursue disqualification where serious breaches of this nature occur.”