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Cafe Hampstead: Company behind restaurant owed £36k in tax to HMRC when eatery closed

PUBLISHED: 14:47 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:42 29 August 2019

Cafe Hampstead closed its doors in July. Picture: Harry Taylor

Cafe Hampstead closed its doors in July. Picture: Harry Taylor

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The latest company behind Cafe Hampstead owed more than £36,000 to the taxman when it closed its doors in July, the Ham&High can reveal.

The notice saying Ei Group, landlords of Cafe Hampstead site in Rosslyn Hill, have retaken possession of the property. Picture: Harry TaylorThe notice saying Ei Group, landlords of Cafe Hampstead site in Rosslyn Hill, have retaken possession of the property. Picture: Harry Taylor

According to a "statement of liabilities" form seen by this newspaper, Green Dollar Ltd owed three months of payments to HMRC up to the end of July 2019.

This included £14,637 in Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) income tax for employees, £21,528.58 in National Insurance Contributions and £61 for student loan repayments. £22.47 was also racked up in interest.

HMRC has refused to say whether the balance had been paid off.

The landlords of the restaurant in Rosslyn Hill retook possession of the property on July 16.

A "notice of peaceable re-entry" in the window said Ei Group had brought to the lease to an end.

Green Dollar Ltd began running Café Hampstead, in Rosslyn Hill, in January after the previous company, Café Hampstead Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in December.

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According to liquidators, Café Hampstead Ltd owed £144,000 to the taxman when it went bust.

Green Dollar Ltd has a sole director and majority shareholder, Tim Danby. Mr Danby is also the sole director for Cafe Holdings Ltd and Babylon Holdings Ltd, the majority of which is owned by Robert Newmark.

In September last year, the Ham&High reported that Robert Newmark had been advising Café Hampstead Ltd's owner, Conor Thomson-Moore.

Yet text messages appeared to show that Mr Newmark had also been dealing with staff, stock ordering and wage disputes. One appeared to suggest he had ploughed his own money in to keep Cafe Hampstead afloat.

Andy Dollia, who has been an accountant for 15 years with his Kensal Green firm Additude said the owings might be a sign of cashflow problems for the company during its final months.

"It's not common. If people are facing cashflow issues they will sometimes withhold that payment from HMRC.

"This is usually the sign of a struggling business.

"It doesn't mean employees will suffer as a result. The responsibility is on the employer to pay those taxes. As far as they know from their payslips, it has been paid."

Mr Danby has not responded to a request for comment by time of publication.

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