A 57-year-old man has been fined £32,000 for failing to make an up-front VAT payment.

Richard John Myram of Sageston was trading as a director of Sarlton (UK) Ltd when he was asked by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to make the advance payment, known as a Notice of Requirement.

The notice - a security bond against potential company losses in the future - required Myram to pay a £18,701 bond or cease trading until the security was paid.

He continued to trade at the electrical maintenance and servicing company, based in Brickyard Lane, Newport, Gwent, and a summons for failing to pay the bond was issued by HMRC.

Myram failed to attend court on three occasions and was sentenced in his absence.

As well as the fine, he was ordered to pay £3,515.34 compensation to HMRC, £120 victim surcharge and £220 costs.

Colin Spinks, HMRC'S assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “Insolvent traders contribute to the UK’s tax gap, so anyone registering for VAT, who has a previous history of failed enterprises, may be asked for security against potential losses.

“This is certainly the case where a business ceases to trade, only to be replaced by a new one offering similar or identical services.

“It is only right to tackle non-compliance, not least to reassure those businesses who do pay their dues that we will take precautionary action against those who may not.”