Payless Cash and Carry Ltd v Patel and Others: ChD 29 Jul 2011

The claimant company, in liquidation, claimed large sums from the first defendant as a director who wrongfully and fraudulently caused it to incur a liability to HMRC for wrongfully claimed input tax on various liquor purchases.
Held: Mann J said: ‘It was no part of the liquidator’s case that there was no trade at all in beer and wine. It was not necessarily part of her case that there was no trade at all with the missing traders. Her case was, whatever trade there may or may not have been, it was not the trade reflected in the disputed input tax claims. There are various possibilities, including different trade with the missing traders at a different level and not involving VAT; trading with other completely different entities, free of VAT, for which the documentary trade with the missing traders is a cover; or no trade at all. There are doubtless other possibilities. The liquidator does not seek to prove any of them. She is entitled to adopt that stance of saying that the purported trade with the missing traders did not take place as documented, and does not have to go further and work out what was actually going on in Payless. As I have observed, in many cases the proof of a fraud will, in practice, require it to be demonstrated what the context of the fraud was – otherwise the fraud is less plausible – but it is not an absolute necessity and in the present case the evidence that the purported trades were not genuine is sufficiently strong that the inability to complete the actual trading picture does not detract from the inferences that are to be drawn from the primary facts as I have found them to be.’


Mann J


[2011] EWHC 2112 (Ch)




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRevenue and Customs v SED Essex Ltd ChD 14-Jun-2013
Liquidator confirmed despite VAT challege
The Revenue sought the winding up of the company for non-payment of substantial arrears of VAT. The revenue had declined to allow VAT input claims. The company said that the petition was wrong since the debt was genuinely disputed.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Insolvency, VAT

Updated: 24 July 2022; Ref: scu.442578