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News - 9 July 2014

Hundreds Who 'Avoided Tax' including well known celebrities

 Several names from the world of showbiz have been accused of hiding their money in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme known as the Liberty tax strategy.

 
Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Some 1,600 people, including QCs, doctors, top businessmen, celebrities, criminals and a judge, are said to have invested in the scheme which ran between 2005 and 2009. They are accused of trying to shelter a total of £1.2bn in Liberty. The scheme worked by making huge artificial "losses" offshore, which members could then use to avoid paying tax on other income. In other words, for every £1 earned, investors could reduce the amount they paid to 7p in tax instead of 40p, while higher rate taxpayers could earn £1m each year tax free.”
 
To do this, the people involved had to pay £70,000 in fees to Mercury Tax Group, the company which ran the scheme.
 
HMRC is going to take this tax scheme to court next March but in the meantime the new rules mean they have to pay the money back. If they don't, the Government could go directly into their bank accounts and take it.
 
Tax avoidance is legal although David Cameron has described it as "morally wrong".
 
A HMRC spokesman said it did not comment on individual cases but added: "We are always happy to help the increasing numbers who want to disentangle themselves from the increasingly fruitless practice of tax avoidance."
 
If you need any help and advice with your Tax compliance and planning, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial planning and business advice.
 
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net
 
Brilliant with numbers  
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals
 
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