Toby Whittaker’s firm faces tax investigation



The Harley Scott Holdings property business owned by Toby Whittaker is facing an investigation from the tax authorities according to

The Burnley-based business, which declared a pre-tax loss of £4m on sales of £5.8m in the year to February 28, 2011, states in its newly-filed accounts that it “is currently subject to numerous tax investigations by HMRC”.

“The outcome of the investigations is uncertain and cannot be quantified at this point,” it said.

The firm has not, however, provided for any potential liability which might occur as a result of the investigation. Similarly, the group wrote off potential liabilites of £6.6m which could arise from claims following the collapse of its former residential arm, Dylan Harvey Residential, in 2009.

CLB Coopers was appointed as liquidator of the company following its
collapse, and the firm has written off the liability as it states that it “is no longer in control” of the company. Despite this, notes to the accounts warn that it could still face a “material liability” if a claims is brought by liquidators.

The write-off of the potential liability meant that the company’s balance
sheet improved slightly, with the firm now having net liabilities of £6.6m (2010: £8.4m).

It owed £22.1m to a group of bank lenders, including main lender Bank of Ireland, Nat West and HSBC. Mr Whittaker himself owed the business £1.6m via a directors’ loan.

Harley Scott Holdings retains a number of assets including a business centre in Liverpool, three car parking sites in Manchester marketed under the Park First brand and residential properties with a value of £5.1m held through a subsidiary company.

A business centre at Shuttleworth Mead in Padiham has been sold off since the year end, though, for £2m. It had previously been valued at £2.5m.