Green's empire slashes its tax bill and pays out £16m to his wife

  • @ArmitageJim

Topshop, Bhs and the other shops in Sir Philip Green's retail empire paid out £16m to the tycoon's Monaco-based wife last year, when the company also slashed its tax bill.

Sir Philip's holding company, Taveta, saw 2010's £213m profit turn into a £120m loss in the year to September, meaning it handed over just £2.8m to HMRC. That was down from £70.9m the previous year.

But Sir Philip's wife, Lady Green, "and her immediate family" still received £16m, in the form of interest for a payment provided by a company controlled by her when Sir Philip bought Bhs. Sir Philip, pictured, said that was not a dividend but "interest owed to her" and added: "We've not taken any money out of the company since 2005." That was when Taveta paid the Greens £1.2bn, the biggest, single payout made to an individual in corporate history.

A separate filing by Sir Philip saw him threaten to sue Asos, the online clothes store with similar customers to Topshop, for taking "unfair advantage of our trade mark". He said if Asos did not immediately take Topshop's name down from its website, he would start legal action.