8 Jul 2014 12:02pm

Ingenious Media to face tax probe

Investment company Ingenious Media has warned 1,300 past and present investors that they face a tax crackdown from HMRC

Business leaders, entertainers and sports stars – including Dame Clara Furse of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee and David  Beckham – were told to prepare for tax demands totalling at least £520m, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Clients have been warned they could be forced to repay all of their saved tax, possibly with interest.

Ingenious’ clients became directors of partnerships that made early losses of £1.3bn. Tax bills were then reduced as clients moved to offset their losses against their other income, said the FT.

A HMRC spokesperson said, “We are always happy to help the increasing numbers who want to disentangle themselves from the increasingly fruitless practice of tax avoidance.”

Ingenious has previously denied it is involved in tax avoidance.

The ability to offset losses against other income was blocked by HMRC in 2007 after the cost of film tax relief ballooned to more than £650m.

The news follows an attacking policy from HMRC, to crackdown on what it views as aggressive and contrived tax avoidance schemes.

A tax avoidnace scheme, Icebreaker, hit headlines last month after a tax tribunal ruled that the fund, used by over 1,000 members, including high profile participants such as Take That’s Gary Barlow, was a conscious attempt to avoid tax.

The tribunal ruled the scheme was “known and understood by all concerned to be a tax avoidance scheme.”

Oliver Griffin


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