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Tea rooms owner falls foul of taxman

PUBLISHED: 11:01 15 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:34 06 July 2010

THE owner of a tea room fell foul of the taxman after running up a VAT debt of more than £100,000, a court heard yesterday.

In their efforts to recoup the money from Michael Revell, of the Buttercross Tea Rooms, in Bungay, officials from the Inland Revenue demanded a security payment of £12,900 or the business would have to shut.

THE owner of a tea room fell foul of the taxman after running up a VAT debt of more than £100,000, a court heard yesterday.

In their efforts to recoup the money from Michael Revell, of the Buttercross Tea Rooms, in Bungay, officials from the Inland Revenue demanded a security payment of £12,900 or the business would have to shut.

However, Revell, 73, continued to trade for several months, between 2007 and 2008, without making the required payment, prosecutor Juliet Donovan told Lowestoft Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Revell, of Cross Street, Bungay, pleaded guilty to charges of trading without making the required security payment, but received a conditional discharge after magistrates heard he had re-mortgaged the tea room to pay back £101,000 he owed in VAT.

Revell, who represented himself in court, told magistrates he started the tea room, in Cross Street, in 1978.

He said: “During the first 27 years, I paid everything that was due... in a conscientious manner.”

He referred to “family circumstances” being behind his problems and said he fully accepted the allegations made by the Inland Revenue.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £200 costs.

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