THE former bosses of a well-known East Lancashire finance firm have been barred from being company directors for four years after falling foul of the taxman.

Express Management Services, based in Church Street, Burnley, went under in November 2009, owing just over £101,000.

But the bulk of their debts were due to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, prompting an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Now Mohammed Tufail, 61, and Shahnaz Tufail, 54, both of Whalley Road, Simonstone, have been disqualified from being company directors after a two-year probe. Investigators discovered that more than £323,000 was paid out from the company’s HSBC bank account from the end of December 2007 to the point of liquidation.

But the last National Insurance or pay-as-you-earn tax contribution from the outfit was in August 2007.

Payroll records for the company for the tax year 2009-10 could not be recovered, by investigators. And when the liquidators were called in by Bury-based insolvency experts DTE around £76,304 was owed in back tax.

An Insolvency Service spokesman said while £22,395 went on wages, over the same period, another £24,223 was withdrawn by to the Tufails.

Another £131,426, withdrawn from the company’s bank, could not be accounted for.

Under the terms of the disqualifcation the Tufails are restricted from being involved in the promotion, organisation or management of a company until 2015.