George Michael and Michael Caine accused of tax avoidance through Liberty scheme
Gary Barlow and members of the Arctic Monkeys are also thought to have been involved with the tax strategy
Wednesday 09 July 2014
Other investors in the Leeds-based tax strategy include Gary Barlow, Katie Melua, Anne Robinson and Paul Nicholson, a loan shark convicted of rape. They are among more than 1,600 who allegedly tried to shelter £1.2billion, making it one of the biggest known tax avoidance schemes.
The firm generated large artificial losses offshore and allowing them to avoid taxes on other income.
HM Revenue & Customs have been investigating Liberty for a decade, which is legal, but the case will go to court in March next year.
Under George Osborne’s new rules, investors will be forced to pay back supposed bills before the scheme is challenged in court. Their money will be refunded if the HMRC lose.
Melua – who was nominated for Christian Aid’s 2008 Tax Superhero Award – sought to shelter £850,000 through Liberty, while Michael tried to shelter £6.2 million in record and tour sales. A spokesperson for Michael gave a “no comment”, when approached by The Independent.
Caine attempted to shelter at least £600,000, according to documentation obtained by The Times.
Gary Barlow - who has already faced backlash for his involvement in tax avoidance scheme Icebreaker earlier this year – invested £4.46million in Liberty. Anne Robinson invested £4 million in the initiative.
Spokespeople for Barlow and the Arctic Monkeys declined to comment, while spokespeople for Robinson and Caine could not be reached.
Melua’s lawyers told The Times that although she had invested in Liberty following advice from her accountants, she has since repaid the sheltered taxes.
Although the HMRC doesn’t “comment on individual cases”, it is also also investigating the workings of another scheme called Ingenious Media – a film investment firm, which will go to tribunal in November. Investors include David Beckham, Steve Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.
Beckham’s publicist, Simon Oliviera, denied that the retired footballer had ever avoided tax.
"We don’t discuss the private financial matters of our clients, however as we have said on many occasions the Beckhams have always paid their taxes in full and have never been involved in aggressive tax avoidance schemes," he told The Independent. "They have also been long-time supporters of the creative industries and made a number of successful investments over the years."
Spokespeople for Gerrard and Rooney could not be reached.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...