RESTAURATEURS from Radcliffe have been served with three-and-a-half year bans as company directors following a battle with the taxman.

David Fletcher and Kelly Louise Wike, both of Ringley Old Brow, had ran an Italian eaterie called Il Pepe Nero in Romiley, since at least 2012.

But the enterprise, under Ilpepenero Ltd, was wound up by HM Revenue and Customs in Official Receiver in November 2018.

And now the pair have been disqualified from running any firms until late 2023 after a probe by the Insolvency Service.

In a report of the undertaking, published online, Fletcher and Wike are said to have owed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) around £100,000.

An Insolvency Service official noted: "According to Ilpepenero's accounts to May 31, 2013, Ilpepenero's turnover for the year was £157,008

"Ilpepenero should therefore have registered for VAT no later than June 30, 2013 and ought to have been submitting VAT returns and payments thereafter."

An inquiry found that the company had registered for VAT on mid-February 2017, after an unannounced visit by inspectors the previous December.

But by the time Wike had resigned from the company in September 2017, the Ilpepenero had racked up a £100,000 tax liability, based on assessments and penalty charges.

Five payments were said to have been made to the taxman, amounting to £40,238. However by the time the firm was wound up HMRC their overall obligation was

"No payments were made by Ilpepenero in relation to VAT during the period of Wike's directorship nor were any returns prepared and/or filed," added the Insolvency Service official.

An investigation further demonstrated that the firm, from June 2016 onwards, made payments totalling £563,901 to trade creditors, and more than £45,000 to Fletcher himself.

But none of the outstanding payments owed had been made to HMRC, which was left requiring £136,454.

Other creditors were owed £19,409 at liquidation, including £15,000 claimed by Fletcher personally.