Blair's firm at centre of £8m tax puzzle

Tony Blair's perpetually fascinating finances re-entered the limelight last night after a report in The Sunday Telegraph claimed that, at their heart, was what the paper called an "£8m tax mystery".

The cause of this, said the paper, is the accounts of the company Mr Blair set up to provide management services to his various enterprises. Official accounts show that the company paid just £315,000 in tax last year on an income of more than £12m. The records show that Mr Blair paid 26 staff almost £2.3m in wages, but details of a further £8m in "administrative expenditure" are unexplained.

The firm, Windrush Ventures Limited, is the latest in a growing number of companies, partnerships and charities established by Mr Blair since he left No 10 in 2007.

It lists its "principal activity" as the "provision of management services" to Mr Blair's various other interests, which include lucrative work as a guest speaker and for clients such as JP Morgan.

The Windrush Ltd accounts for the 12 months to 31 March show a turnover of £12,005,000 and administrative expenses of £10,919,000, leaving a profit of just over £1m, on which Mr Blair paid £315,000 in tax. This was paid at the corporate rate of 28 per cent.

Of those expenses, £2,285,000 went to pay 26 employees at an average salary of almost £88,000. The firm also pays £550,000 a year to rent Mr Blair's offices in Grosvenor Square, and some £300,000 more for equipment and furniture.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: "The Windrush accounts are prepared in accordance with the relevant legal, accounting and regulatory guidance. Mr Blair continues to be a UK taxpayer, and all of his companies are UK-registered for tax purposes."