Former TV chef fined by HMRC

Paul Heathcote, the celebrated chef who has owned a number of restaurants in Lancashire and appeared on various TV shows, has received a fine for ignoring a trading ban.

Paul HeathcoteHeathcote, from Preston, has been ordered to pay £10,052 for failing to pay a security safeguard on his VAT and, in doing so, trading illegally for three months.

The chef came to the attention of HMRC when his previous company, The Longridge Restaurant, de-registered for VAT in 2011 owing almost £100,000 in unpaid taxes. On the same day he registered two new companies, PH Restaurants (Longridge) Ltd and PH Restaurants (Preston) Ltd.

As the new companies posed a potential risk, Heathcote was told to pay a VAT security of £72,190 or stop trading. Despite written notices telling him the terms of the security requirement, both restaurants continued to trade illegally. Heathcote faced 30 charges under the VAT Act, and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £7,052 in compensation to HMRC. He subsequently paid the £25,018 security required for the Preston restaurant.