A RESTAURANT boss has been banned from running a business for nine years after concealing more than £130,000 in tax from the inland revenue.

David Cowan, 53, who runs Cyan restaurant in Milngavie, began trading on Stewart Street in Milngavie in August 2014. However, he did not register the venue for VAT until a year later.

He then failed to ensure the company filed quarterly returns, which he was duty-bound to do as the company director of Avenbrae Ltd. This caused HMRC to raise assessments on the company’s behalf, which were only partially paid.

In June 2017, an investigation uncovered that the company had been concealing VAT since August 2014. In September 2017, they requested immediate payment of the outstanding amount.

At the same time, several new restaurants and a hotel in the area are said to have negatively impacted footfall to Cyan and, by January 2018, David Cowan had placed Avenbrae Limited into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation.

At the point of liquidation, the company owed HMRC £195,000 in VAT, which included fines for unpaid tax and VAT due for the final quarter of trading. In addition, the company owed other creditors almost £23,000.

In August 2019, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from David Cowan for nine years.

Effective from 28 August 2019, he is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Robert Clarke, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: "David Cowan failed to observe his statutory duties as a company director to comply with VAT obligations, and his business gained a competitive advantage as a result, which is unacceptable behaviour.

"Any other directors who behave in this way should expect an Insolvency Service investigation and a lengthy ban."