Three companies that dodged millions of pounds in tax at the same upmarket Cardiff office block are included on the latest tax evasion list. A person or business appears on the list if they have deliberately defaulted on more than £25,000 in tax.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says releasing the list is "about influencing behaviour by encouraging defaulters to engage with HMRC". Before updating its list HMRC gives each defaulter an opportunity to argue why their details should not be published.

The UK Government department removes a defaulter's details after 12 months. Below are the Wales-based names on the list, which was last updated on March 27. We have made efforts to approach the people and businesses listed.

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Venatu Payroll Solutions

Three of the companies on the list were based at the same serviced office building, 33 Cathedral Road in Cardiff. All three have a minimal online presence. One of the businesses was Venatu Payroll Solutions Ltd, which had previously been known as RTS Payroll Solutions Ltd and Bondix Administration Ltd. Between April 2014 and February 2022 the firm deliberately defaulted on £1,346,823 and has since been ordered by HMRC to pay a penalty of £942,776.10.

According to accounts it filed on Companies House, the "payroll services" business was a "dormant company" with total shareholder funds of just £1 during the period of the tax default. Its directors were Eoin McGuinness, a 33-year-old Irish national whose country of residence was listed as Ireland; Paul Philip Hamilton, a 74-year-old British national living in Thailand; Steven Hardy, a 55-year-old British national living in the UK.; and Damien Paton, a 30-year-old French national whose French address on Companies House is not a real place.

Between them, the directors are linked to a huge number of companies, many of which have the words "administration" or "management" in their titles, and which have little internet presence. Mr Hamilton alone has, according to Companies House, been a director of 74 businesses. Venatu was dissolved in January after compulsory strike-off.

Staffscanner Payroll Bureau Ltd

The second company based at 33 Cathedral Road was Staffscanner Payroll Bureau Ltd, which was previously known as Apollo Payroll Bureau Ltd, and which listed its trade as "combined office administrative service activities". Between August 2018 and October 2021 it deliberately defaulted on £1,415,290. HMRC has imposed a penalty of £990,703.

One of the directors was Eoin McGuinness, who was also among those running Venatu. As well as Mr McGuinness, Staffscanner had a director called Marc Soto, a 31-year-old Spanish national living in the UK. Like Venatu, the firm filed accounts that said it was a "dormant company" during the period of the tax default, and gave its total shareholder funds as £1. Staffscanner was dissolved in January after compulsory strike-off.

Dedicated Outsourcing

The third company based at 33 Cathedral Road was a "management consultancy" called Dedicated Outsourcing Ltd, which traded as Quadrant Service (UK). The company defaulted on £2,709,735 in tax between June 2018 and February 2022. HMRC has imposed a penalty of £1,896,814. Its directors were James Edward Croft, a 33-year-old British national living in Wales, and Stephen May, a 63-year-old British national living in Thailand.

Much the same as Venatu and Staffscanner, the firm filed accounts that said it was a "dormant company" during the period of the tax default, and gave its total shareholder funds as £1. It was dissolved last month after compulsory strike-off.

Richard Anthony Sheppard

Richard Anthony Sheppard, who was based at 24 Oliver Road in Newport and 162 Corporation Road in Newport, evaded £26,800.96 in tax from April 2017 to April 2020. He has been charged a penalty of £14,740.52 due to the tax default, which according to HMRC was related to "employment expenses". When we asked Mr Sheppard if he wished to comment, he said: "You're not publishing my name, mate. F***ing b******s, I tell you what mate, don't be f***ing publishing my name in no paper, right?" Mr Sheppard then ended the phone call.


The HMRC list says recycling company Ecosmart (Wales) Ltd, which was based at Cardiff Gate Business Park and has since moved to Caerphilly, deliberately defaulted on £68,092.33 in tax between April 2020 and April 2022. The firm, which launched in 2003, has been ordered to pay the same amount as a penalty. Its director Kevin Price, 51, told us: "We're actually talking to HMRC at the moment and we believe they're wrong. It happened in Covid and we're appealing it."

He said the business was "in dispute" with HMRC over furlough payments during the coronavirus pandemic. "We're appealing against them on a couple of matters," he added. "It's a minor discrepancy we thought was sorted." Asked if the firm had paid back any of the amount defaulted, he said: "I can't really go into that." And when asked if the case could threaten the future of the business, he replied: "I can't comment because it's an ongoing case."

Sarah Fisher and Richard Cotter

Sarah Ann Fisher and Richard John Cotter ran a Spar convenience store at 27-29 Cowbridge Road in Pontyclun. The franchisees deliberately defaulted on £85,981 in tax between October 2018 and March 2021. HMRC has imposed a penalty of £49,654. The shop is listed on Google as permanently closed.

Magic Wok

Magic Wok, a Chinese takeaway at 71-72 Pontmorlais in Merthyr Tydfil, dodged £172,257.40 in tax between January 2019 and January 2022. The business, which is listed as Magic Wok Mei Limited on Companies House, landed a penalty of £105,072.90.

Oriental Garden

WJE Limited traded as a Chinese restaurant called Oriental Garden in the Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay. Between October 2016 and March 2019 the business evaded on £97,970.97 and has been ordered by HMRC to pay a penalty of £78,376.77.

Dylan Bull

Dylan Bull ran the Crown Inn in Victoria Street, Abertillery. The publican deliberately defaulted on £138,581.69 in tax between April 2010 and April 2016. HMRC has handed him a penalty of £72,755.36. When we approached the Crown Inn, a spokesperson said Mr Bull no longer runs the pub.

Christopher Hale

Christopher Anthony Hale, a tiler who was based at 112 Charles Street in Tredegar, evaded £43,857.66 in tax between April 2019 and April 2021. HMRC has ordered him to pay a penalty of £19,955.23.

Mandy Perry

Mandy Marina Perry, who was in the business of removals and storage, deliberately defaulted on £66,998.01 between April 2013 and April 2020. The 56-year-old, of 30 Maes Y Glyn, Lower Brynamman, Ammanford, has been ordered by HMRC to pay a penalty of £45,223.62.

Other defaulters from Wales

HMRC's current list names other defaulters from Wales whose details we included in this report. The list is updated roughly every three months.