A Midland businessman has been disqualified from acting as a director for 3½ years for failing to pay tax.

Mark Smith, director of Mark Smith Digital Aerials (MSDA), an aerial installation business which traded in the Dudley and Worcester areas, was disqualified after an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The disqualification prevents him from in any way managing or controlling limited companies for the duration of his ban.

The investigation found that between 31 May 2009 and 28 February 2011, Mark Smith failed to ensure that MSDA submitted any VAT returns due for submission to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Mr Smith also failed to ensure that MSDA paid assessed VAT due to HMRC between September 11, 2009, and March 11, 2011. As a result of these failings, Mr Smith failed to pay in excess of £100,000 in VAT which the company was liable for.

Robert Clarke, head of company investigations Birmingham, said: “Directors who fail to pay their taxes are not only cheating the government, they are also gaining an unfair advantage over other businesses who are doing the right thing and paying the money they owe.

“The undertaking signed by Mark Smith sends a clear message to other company directors that if you run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors you will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and as a result removed from the business environment.”