Small businesses in the frame for alleged short-changing

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By Elizabeth Mistry

A small hotelier has spoken of his frustration after being included on a government list highlighting alleged under payers.

More than 25 companies were included on the list released by HMRC including two hotels, The Bath Hotel in Reading and The New County Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland.

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According to the document, Satwinder Khatter and Tejinder Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, failed to pay £1,237.79 to two workers while Perth Hotels Ltd, owed a single worker £556.80.

Satwinder Khatter told Boutique Hotelier he was furious and “raw” at being included on the list over a matter that he said dated back to last year when he had cooperated fully with HMRC regarding an accounting oversight.

“We’ve got nothing to hide and we’ve paid all our taxes and VAT.

“We overcharged a person for accommodation. It was the first time we had employed someone from abroad and we made a mistake.  We held our hands up. If you make a mistake, the proprietor has to take the blame but we dealt with it straight away and it should have been case closed. Now our reputation is being tarnished.

“If I could sell the place and concentrate on my other business I would.”

Owen Boyle, Director of Scotland-based Perth Hotels Ltd told Boutique Hotelier that it was “a great shock” to discover from local media that his business had been included on the list as he had paid the outstanding money owed in full.

He said he would be consulting a lawyer about possible legal action and that he had not intentionally done anything wrong.

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