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Published:  23 July, 2008

Staffordshire-based importer and wholesaler F&A Ponting (which trades as Wines of Westhorpe) has gone into liquidation, resulting in the sale of 22,000 cases of stock. The auction, which is being held today in a bonded warehouse in Sutton by auctioneer FPDSavills, is expected to raise 220,000. Wines of Westhorpe is known as a specialist in Hungarian and Eastern European wines (although Australian and South African wines also feature in its portfolio). Eddie Kerr of joint liquidator PFK said: The company got into difficulties following problems with the Inland Revenue. The managing director simply failed to deal adequately with both the company's and his own tax affairs, causing a number of years' liabilities to build up. This eventually resulted in the director's bankruptcy and the liquidation of the company.' Mike Hanson, head of FPDSavills, said he was bemused' by the regulations surrounding duty on wines and spirits. I was staggered that VAT is payable not only on the cost of purchasing the wine but also on the duty - in effect a tax on a tax,' he said. For further information contact FPDSavills on 0115 934 8100