Scandal-hit Apostle Accounting set to foldby
Police inquiries are underway into Apostle Accounting’s recent tax dealings as its owner continues to plead innocence.
Apostle Accounting, the Suffolk-based firm at the centre of a tax scandal in which hundreds of businesses were left in debt to HMRC, has been wound up this month.
First reported in the London Gazette, the official public record, the firm is now in the hands of Leeds-based liquidators DFW Associates, after a voluntary liquidation resolution was put forward on 17 October.
Apostle Accounting, founded by Zoe Goodchild in 2012, was unceremoniously pulled into the limelight earlier this year after a number of aggrieved former clients spoke out against the firm and its business practices.
Originally offering clients the opportunity to recover tax paid based on work-related expenses, with many receiving payouts, HMRC soon issued notices that the claims had been made incorrectly and that the rebates be repaid, leaving some with five-figure tax bills.
As more businesses spoke up, it became clear that hundreds of former Apostle clients were left with hefty tax bills after discovering their rebate claims made through Goodchild’s firm were bogus. This has led to an estimated £1.8m needing to be paid to HMRC.
Former client Lee Osborne, one of the leading figures in collating evidence against Apostle Accounting, found himself paying back £21,000, which includes the £8,000 deducted by Goodchild’s firm. “Many of the affected people, including myself, feel like they have done 12 rounds in the ring,” Osborne said.
Since the news broke, the scandal-hit firm later became the focus of an episode of BBC’s Rip-Off Britain, as well as being picked up by various MPs in a letter to HMRC’s Jim Harra.
A police inquiry by the East Region Special Operations Unit is also underway, however, Apostle has continued to deny any wrongdoing in the matter.
HMRC not innocent
The news regarding Apostle Accounting soon made its way to the AccountingWEB community. However, while many condemned the actions of the firm, other Any Answers members noted that, while Apostle’s dealings were wrong, HMRC’s lack of reform and multiple missed chances were equally to blame.
“HMRC is surely at fault here, issuing large repayments with no checks and then charging penalties when finally catch up. Apostle has bagged a lot of money for themselves with no comeback – very wrong indeed,” wrote pauld.
Fellow member Samantha20 added an equally scathing reply: “It is all HMRC’s fault. This sort of scam has been going on for years and they do nothing about it.”