John Barnes banned as company director over unpaid £200,000 tax

Across a football career lasting almost two decades, John Barnes earned 79 caps for England before retiring. In 2012 he founded John Barnes Media Limited – a company which would fold less than a decade later and spend two years paying no tax whatsoever.

John Barnes has been banned as a director after his company failed to pay almost £200,000 in tax.

The ex-England and Liverpool star signed a disqualification undertaking which barred him from being a company director for three-and-a-half years, the Insolvency Service has said.

This came about because his company John Barnes Media Limited, failed to pay any corporation tax and VAT from 2018 to 2020

The Insolvency Service launched an investigation in September 2023.

Barnes was the sole director of the company, based in West Byfleet, Surrey, which said it offered media representation services.

From November 2018 to October 2020, John Barnes Media had a turnover of £441,798.

Over this period, nothing was paid to HMRC.

This was despite the fact the company filed returns showing what the VAT payments should have been.

The investigation showed that the company failed to pay £78,839 in corporation tax from August 2018 to January 2020 – when it ceased trading.

The company also failed to pay £115,272 in VAT from February 2019 to 2020.

Across a playing career spanning almost two decades, Barnes earned 79 caps for England before he formed John Barnes Media Limited in September 2012.

Mike Smith, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “Individuals and businesses not paying the tax they should deprives the government of the funding it needs to provide vital public services and investment in areas such as schools, hospitals and roads.

“John Barnes had a legal duty to ensure his company paid the correct amount of corporation tax and VAT.

“Instead, it paid no tax whatsoever between November 2018 and October 2020, despite receiving earnings of well over £400,000.

“This disqualification should serve as a deterrent to other directors that if you do not pay your taxes while directing money elsewhere, you are at risk of being banned”.

The secretary of state for business and trade accepted a disqualification undertaking from Barnes and his ban started on Wednesday 24 April.

It prevents him from being involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company without the permission of the court.

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