to be a bit pissed off that Gary Barlow has been involved in tax avoidance?

(120 Posts)
grovel Sat 10-May-14 12:49:35

I thought he was supposed to be a national treasure?

From The Mirror:

Gary Barlow and two other Take That stars face having to pay back tens of millions of pounds in tax after a court ruled they were part of a massive tax avoidance scheme.

The singer-songwriter, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and manager Jonathan Wild poured £66million into two partnerships styled as music-industry investment schemes.

But the ventures were artificial tax shelters for the super-rich which allowed the musicians to avoid tax on about £63million from world tours and CD sales.

The Take That members are likely to be ordered to repay more than £20million to HM Revenue & Customs.

Tax judge Colin Bishopp rejected arguments that more than 50 partnerships, set up by a company called Icebreaker Management, had been set up for commercial purposes.

He said: “Icebreaker is, and was known and understood by all concerned to be, a tax avoidance scheme.

“The aim was to secure [tax] relief for members, and to inflate the scale of the relief by unnecessary borrowing.”

Jubelteen Sat 10-May-14 12:54:32

I've read that GB is very tight fisted with his money so not surprised that he tried to pay as little tax as possible. Its not illegal but does grate as us little people on PAYE pay full amount of tax on our meagre earnings.

softlysoftly Sat 10-May-14 12:58:14

Tax avoidance is legal so he wouldn't be in court.

tax evasion I assume?

He still probably pays far more into the pot than most so can't get my knickers in a twist about it unless it is proved to be illegal tbh.

Mrsjayy Sat 10-May-14 13:03:31

this has been going around for ages it was said when Jimmy Carr was caught out I guess a lot of high high earners do it, TBF i think most of us would if we earned as much as they do i assume gary Barlow pays a shit load of tax anyway

ajandjjmum Sat 10-May-14 13:09:04

Someone spoke to us about this scheme. I think it reduces the tax you pay from 40% to 20% ish - so a significant saving. Still a significant tax payment though.

Hard to know what you'd do unless you had enough money to justify considering it - we all say 'no' now....... grin

Mrsjayy Sat 10-May-14 13:12:36

well exactly if i was a multi millionaire songwriter who knows what I would want to do with my money, grin

Mrsjayy Sat 10-May-14 13:13:22

athough a lot of celebs are caught out with scams and whatnot

ClashCityRocker Sat 10-May-14 13:19:27

Softly softly, tax avoidance cases go before a tax tribunal and then up to high court to see if they 'work' and are actually legal.

With the anti-abuse legislation coming in, very few are likely to succeed, even if they follow the letter of the law in other respects.

ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 13:22:51

What I find galling is the fucking prat was exorting us to give to children in need. Maybe they'd be less children in need in the UK if he paid his fucking taxes.

Sanctimonious prick.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:23:26

Hang on which catagory is GB in?

The Peter Andre, Katie Price, Kerry Katona one or the Nigella Lawson, Lily Allen one?

It is apparently not in the spirt of MN to post negative about the second catagory.

ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 13:24:39

We will soon find out.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:26:46

I wonder how many children in need will now benefit from the £20m Mr Barlow will be returning to the tax man?

StarGazeyPond Sat 10-May-14 13:29:03

What I find galling is the fucking prat was exorting us to give to children in need. Maybe they'd be less children in need in the UK if he paid his fucking taxes.

Really? You are being utterly utterly ridiculous with that statement.

ConferencePear Sat 10-May-14 13:29:15

Living in this country gives you rights which citizens of other countries don't enjoy. Our society can only work if everyone pays their fair share.
I think people like Gary Barlow should be proud to pay his taxes in the country which has made him rich.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:29:22

After giving it some through, I think GB comes under the KK,PA,KP catagory as he sends his children out to work. I remember seeing his DD preform as a munchkin in the west end.

ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 13:34:46

Why is that ridiculous? If everyone simply decided to opt out of their obligations to pay taxes, as Gary Barlow has appeared to have done, , then how long til education, social services, youth clubs, sure starts and health visiting collapses?

The two things are not unrelated.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:38:01

Well that is good then, so many children can benefit now, so it should take the sting out of it for him.

His DD was very cute a quite the performer BTW.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 13:38:56

<shush> Colleen Nolan is on the protected list.

As to celebs in general, the scales have fallen from my eyes. We dont have a clue what they get up to behind closed doors.

ShakesBootyFlabWobbles Sat 10-May-14 13:40:37

YANBU. I am disappointed with their choices and am glad HMRC has been successful in court.

I don't agree with the attitude that, well they pay a lot anyway who cares. They are in an incredibly privileged position and with that comes responsibility. The British masses on PAYE, even very well paid ones, have no choice but comply with tax legislation, I don't see why high net worth individuals should be any different. It is greed and nothing more.

AuntieStella Sat 10-May-14 13:41:35

People get caught out from time to time on tax (and other) matters. I haven't actually seen anything about this one.

But in general, it's nothing to do with being a 'national treasure' as public image needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt anyhow.

Apparent likability is no indicator of morals or likelihood of being an offender (see threads passim on inadequacy of 'stranger danger' and friendly grooming; or 'but I liked him' for some but not all Yewtree offenders/suspects).

Mrsjayy Sat 10-May-14 13:41:38

as an aside do you honestly think children will be no longer in need if gary barlow and the like paid more taxes, ,really

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:41:47

OK, so CN, NL and LA are on the protected list and GB, PA, KK and KP are not? got it!

shitatusernames Sat 10-May-14 13:42:15

Wonder if the government will be going into his bank account to take back the unpaid taxes, which is something I'd heard they were proposing yesterday.

Mintyy Sat 10-May-14 13:46:20

It is greed and nothing more.

Can't argue with that.

But you are all being mean about poor old Gary! He's such a good song writer and a luffly family man, and he had a weight problem and Robbie hated him, and then he's turned himself round and is just fabulous now and everyone should love him and be grateful for all that tax he does pay.

Going to have to report you vile nasty bitches to hq now. Sorry.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-May-14 13:46:44

I'd assume that, unlike the rest of us relying on a slip of paper out of the cashpoint, Barlow's millions are managed by a team of financial experts. They'll be tasked with managing investments, taxes etc and the amount of conscious decision-making that GB contributes is probably minimal. Ignorance is no defence but I can see why 'talented but thick' celebrities often end up in this position.

andsmile Sat 10-May-14 13:47:03

My DH is in tax. It is in no way as straight forward as deducting a percentage. Some legalities are very complex and are not easily understood by most. Knowing what I've learnt about certain areas if tax like share options, expenses, charity write offs, dual,contracts I'm not convinced everybody involved in these scheme actually understand what it is they are getting into, BUT they should, that is there responsibility.

Tax planning is legal, tax evasion is not.

OwlCapone Sat 10-May-14 13:47:12

Tax avoidance is legal so he wouldn't be in court.

He wasn't in court. The court was making a judgement on Icebreaker Management.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 10-May-14 13:47:20

I would imagine they know very little about accountancy and tax and trust others to manage this for them.
Perhaps a new accountant is in order.

Mintyy Sat 10-May-14 13:47:37

Ooooh, "talented but thick"!


ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 13:49:34

No mrsjay but underfunded public services that look after thr welfare of children have to be paid for. Gary Barlow is cheating these services of money by his tax avoidance, yet simultaneously making appeals to give money to help vulnerable children who are falling through the net due to overstetched social services, SEN budgets etc. smacks of hypocrisy.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:50:07

Ah so that is how it works GB is in the T&T list, with KK, PA and KP wink

ShakesBootyFlabWobbles Sat 10-May-14 13:51:07

Here is what it says on

Joining an Icebreaker LLP

Individual members of the Icebreaker LLPs each contribute a minimum capital contribution of £200,000. Subject to the member fulfilling the bank's criteria, a bank loan is expected to be available to finance 80% of this capital contribution.

Members are expected to bring their own business and personal experience to their LLP and to contribute to its trade by playing an active part in the LLP's commercial activities. Accordingly, membership of an Icebreaker LLP may not be suitable for an individual who is, for example, simply seeking a possible means to obtain tax relief. hmm

(obviously they haven't got the mumsnet hmmm emoticon on their website, that was me but they bloody should have )

Mrsjayy Sat 10-May-14 13:52:09

compos underfunded services like the projects C I N run and pay have never been a priority in this country regardless of people paying taxes. sadly .

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 13:53:47

CIN raised £600m shock

VenusDeWillendorf Sat 10-May-14 13:57:35

Gary Barlow will probably be as shocked to hear he had his money in this scheme as everyone else is.

Nobody manages their money when they get to that amount of earnings. They employ wealth managers.

I think the case in court was to s determine whether this scheme was avoidance or evasion.

I don't think GB is personally culpable. He's a song writer after all, not an accountant, or a manager.

Of course those who think he knows his own business down to the last penny will get their daily mail hate on and rage about the charities he supports pro bono, and claim he's a hypocrite and taking food out of the mouths of babes hmm while they do no voluntary work themselves! wink

ScarlettlovesRhett Sat 10-May-14 14:00:10

I would have expected Gary Barlow to be on the protected list tbh.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 10-May-14 14:00:26

I don't blame anyone wanting to avoid paying tax. They take advice from people who claim to understand the tax laws better than they do, but as a consequence have to accept that the advice they accept might be wrong, or found wrong if the Revenue try hard enough.

Avoidance is not evasion

TheEnchantedForest Sat 10-May-14 14:06:30

another reason to love JK Rowling...

ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 14:11:23

bitter I fucking do. Being greedy and stupid and letting someone dodge tax on your behalf and then turning a blind eye is no excuse.

Fasttouch Sat 10-May-14 14:17:04

Sometimes I am not sure whether these tax evasion schemes are intentional when done by celebs. I have a suspicion that they have accountants that say "we can save you money doing so and so" and they just give the go ahead with out really looking into it.

sarinka Sat 10-May-14 14:17:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

He's followed the advice of his account, that's all. To legally minimise his tax bill.
We'd all do the same. I don't believe for a second he was evading tax.

squoosh Sat 10-May-14 14:24:21

The idea that poor old Gaz will be just as shocked to hear of this avoidance scheme is laughable. JK Rowling is a hell of a lot wealthier and she manages to keep an eye on the tax she pays.

If only more of the rich and extremely famous would follow her example.

squoosh Sat 10-May-14 14:25:06

Ah I see TheEnchantedForest has already mentioned JK!

Tootyfilou Sat 10-May-14 14:25:28

I have always hated him, he is a nasty Tory who has said how much he admired Thatcherangry

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 14:25:48

I would rather be a brew mug like JK any day.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 14:26:27


BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 10-May-14 14:27:14

Composhat: People who are very high earners take advice. Advice, good or bad, is often based on the tax-regime in force at the time. Creatives, who have no qualifications in accountancy or tax, (bloody hell, some of them can barely read properly) have to take on trust the advice they are given.

Musicians and other creatives if they earn any money at all, generally make it in extremely short periods of time, and earn practically bugger-all in succeeding decades. The tax authorities act like they will be earning the same fortune next year and every year thereafter and tax accordingly. This is why they need tax-planning advice and I don't see anything wrong with that. I would do the same, and cross my fingers that the Revenue don't change the goalposts or find some loophole to get their mitts on my dosh.

squoosh Sat 10-May-14 14:27:46

'Being greedy and stupid and letting someone dodge tax on your behalf and then turning a blind eye is no excuse.'


FraidyCat Sat 10-May-14 14:32:07

Why is that ridiculous? If everyone simply decided to opt out of their obligations to pay taxes

He wasn't trying to opt out of his obligation, he was trying to avoid paying more than he was obliged to. Sometimes when taxpayers and HMRC disagree on where the line is, there is a legal process, ending in a court case, to rule one way or the other. On this occasion, HMRC won.

EffectiveCommunication Sat 10-May-14 14:33:25

If I were GB I would on the blower to JK asking to use her tax accountants.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 10-May-14 14:34:07

Our accountants are very straight and quick to point out anything that would potentially put you on hmrc's radar.

I doubt he understood the technicalities but I bet he knew it was sailing close to the wind. He hopefully had the money put aside waiting for the judgement.

ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 14:37:39

Yes woe betide that once so called creatives habe had their moments in the sun that thry should be expected to cut their own cloth or go and get a job like us civilians.

FraidyCat Sat 10-May-14 14:44:09

Gary Barlow is cheating these services of money by his tax avoidance

When you last voluntarily wrote a cheque to HMRC for more tax than you legally had to pay, how much extra did you donate to them? Before we take you seriously, we need to know that you aren't a hypocrite who "cheats" by only paying what you legally owe.

Or we could reserve the word "cheating" for people who don't pay what they legally should. Which doesn't include any involved in tax avoidance.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 14:47:08

Our accountants are very straight and quick to point out anything that would potentially put you on hmrc's radar.

That is what the good ones should be doing. Part of their job I should have thought.

And the judge said that they would have all known.

GatoradeMeBitch Sat 10-May-14 14:47:14

I bet Cameron won't be sticking the boot in as he did with Jimmy Carr.

Fishstix Sat 10-May-14 14:50:43

YABU if you buy in to ANY stars 'I'm so lovely and good and squeaky clean' image...and very naive.

meisiemee Sat 10-May-14 14:54:43

Then they cry out at illegal downloads! Never liked him much anyway and not surprised

FraidyCat Sat 10-May-14 14:55:50

I think the case in court was to s determine whether this scheme was avoidance or evasion.

No, failed avoidance is not the same thing as evasion.

Evasion is where someone deliberately sets out to break the law. It is a criminal offense.

A tax avoidance case is just the final step in a procedure to settle a dispute between HMRC and the taxpayer about how big the tax bill should be. It is perfectly possible for HMRC to be in the wrong, on this occasion they weren't.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 15:01:03

I think I am right in saying that 80% of tax comes from businesses not individuals, so that can potentially amount to a huge amount of tax avoidance, which would definitely have a great impact.

Far greater than you and I can imagine.

I think that we underestimate quite how many businesses and taxes are both collected and missing.

£470billion was collected in 2012.
Accountants can be inventive.

TheFairyCaravan Sat 10-May-14 15:07:37

St David of Beckham has been up to it too.

I like a bit of Gary's music, but I do dislike all this tax avoidance. None of us in the real world can get away with paying our tax, so why should they?
There are people starving in this country and these massive stars are not paying their fair share!

hedgetrimmer Sat 10-May-14 15:12:00

Dont blame them to be honest.

TheFairyCaravan Sat 10-May-14 15:14:49

According to this as well as the Beckhams, Bob Geldof, Gary Lineker and Anne Robinson are up to it, too!

The article thinks there are thousands of them!

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 15:16:15

hmm. Having just listened to the BBC report about it, it appears that it is not criminal what they have done.
It is an abuse of the tax system though.

[andsmile, that means that your last sentence is wrong]

avoidance - not criminal
evasion - criminal

softlysoftly Sat 10-May-14 15:47:54

Ah right ok so getting this straight:

He hasn't evaded tax or in fact done anything illegal?

A Tax planning agreement some of his money was a part of was challenged and found to be not within the rules and therefore HMRC is due additional tax?

Nope still don't care then, he paid what he legally owed, tried tax planning to reduce his bill and now will pay the difference as someone got it wrong.

Darkesteyes Sat 10-May-14 15:50:42

ComposHat Sat 10-May-14 13:22:51

What I find galling is the fucking prat was exorting us to give to children in need. Maybe they'd be less children in need in the UK if he paid his fucking taxes.

Sanctimonious prick.

Totally agree Compo The hypocrisy stinks.

andsmile Sat 10-May-14 15:55:18

If GB did not generate millions in taxes by a) not working b) relocating elsewhere and paying taxes there then HMRCwould not have received so much in the first place.

He is a songwriter not a tax specialist. like I said tax planning is not illegal however some schemes push the boundaries, to say an individual is robbing service is just ignorant. It almost sounds entitled.

andsmile Sat 10-May-14 15:57:49

Yes softly just asked she yes this is whathas occurred. he tried to save some money legally.

deakymom Sat 10-May-14 16:04:16

i really think he knows what he has done he knows he should be paying taxes and he should be made to pay them i really dont buy the "other person is responsible" argument keep an eye on it simple he has lost everything once you would assume he would want to keep track this time

i don't think he is a national treasure he is a man who can sing simple as nothing more

evertonmint Sat 10-May-14 16:04:44

I'm with softlysoftly on this. He hasn't evaded tax yet. If he refuses to pay the bill now coming his way, he will be worthy of our hatred, but at this stage he has just been told he has an additional tax bill to pay which he thought he wouldn't have.

2 years ago, I set up a limited company to do my job freelance. I pay less overall tax than I did as a PAYE employee but I only avoid tax within the rules - I pay myself a minimal salary then take extra in chunks as dividends as and when profits are available. I have a much lower regular monthly income than when PAYE as I need to retain money to get me through lean periods. When I do have a surplus I can then take it and pay less tax than if it were true salary. It somehow still feels a bit wrong to me, because I spent 15 years on PAYE, but it is entirely legal, just different. It's like this because I take substantially more risk of not earning by being a director than when i were an employee so the tax system takes account of that risk. GB is self-employed but earns substantially more than me so his tax affairs are more complex

Anyone who only pays what they owe and nothing more through PAYE - you are no different to GB actually as you only pay what you owe and not a penny more. It's just that the rules on PAYE are so clear as to not need a court ruling on what you need to pay.

Save your hatred for those Brits that move themselves to Monaco or offshore everything etc.

WooWooOwl Sat 10-May-14 16:10:51

Tax avoidance schemes don't generally mean that people end up paying no tax.

They still pay tax, and a lot of it, just not the ridiculously huge amount that HMRC would take without any tax planning.

I can't see what there is to get worked up about tbh.

Darkesteyes Sat 10-May-14 16:19:57

Cant help but think there would be a lot less support on this thread for someone who had made a mistake with their Housing Benefit.

This news about GB does not surprise me in the least. He has made no secret of his admiration of Thatcher

I don't like hypocrites And hypocrisy is usually part of the package with a Tory.

WooWooOwl Sat 10-May-14 16:22:03

Housing benefit is not related to tax.

evertonmint Sat 10-May-14 16:24:22

I wouldn't have a problem with somebody who made a genuine mistake with a housing benefit claim who then rectified it afterwards. I would have an issue with somebody who fraudulently claimed HB.

At the moment, GB appears to fall into the former category not the latter.

grovel Sat 10-May-14 16:26:22

The judge was pretty scathing about the Icebreaker confection.

He said: “Icebreaker is, and was known and understood by all concerned to be, a tax avoidance scheme.

“The aim was to secure [tax] relief for members, and to inflate the scale of the relief by unnecessary borrowing.”

So "all concerned" just hoped HMRC would not spot its real purpose. This is completely different to normal tax planning.

evertonmint, HMRC know what you're doing and are happy with it because our taxes/reliefs/allowances are structured (a) to raise money and (b) to encourage certain behaviours. I think GB is bright enough to know that successive governments were not trying to encourage what he and his fellow investors were up to.

It may not be criminal but, IMO, it's morally iffy at minimum.

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 10-May-14 16:42:40

Anyone with an ISA is avoiding tax. He took a scheme to encourage a specific industry a bit beyond its limits. Not great but not dreadful either.

EmilyJane86 Sat 10-May-14 16:52:00

Yes this pisses me off when mega rich people do this. I'm taxed a large amount on not so large salary and so are many others in Britain. Make rich people pay their taxes and stop handouts to the last lot that don't want to work. Then the hard working people of Britain may not have to be taxed so much. Rant over sorry

EmilyJane86 Sat 10-May-14 16:52:37


SuburbanRhonda Sat 10-May-14 17:04:12

"National treasure"?

He's boring as fuck and now it turns out he's tight-fisted to boot.

TucsonGirl Sat 10-May-14 17:07:49

Don't worry, HMRC will soon be able to access your bank account so there will be no getting away with not paying as much tax as the government says you must pay.

grovel Sat 10-May-14 18:19:39

When it comes to ethics perhaps he sets the Bar low.

jonicomelately Sat 10-May-14 18:26:10

Gary Barlow and Chris Moyles both climbed Killimanjaro in 2008 to raise funds for Comic Relief. This, as we all no doubt recall received massive media coverage and they were lauded as being heroes. In the meantime, Chris Moyles was allegedly involved in a scheme where he claimed to be a second hand car salesman, in order to limit his tax liability and GB was involved in the scheme which has been deemed to be an avoidance scheme. The cult of celebrity sucks.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 18:37:26

On the whole once someone has an income or assets above a certain level where they pay tax and how much they pay is essentially a voluntary decision.

Its a difficult moral area but in creative industries where there are no physical goods produced and businesses have no physical location then tax systems simply cannot hope to capture tax on them.

Even businesses with physical locations and physical products now routinely hold their brands in offshore tax havens and pay licence fees and royalties there so there is no tax on them.

I used to work in a business that transacted billions of dollars every year. I sat in London and the contracts went via Switzerland all perfectly legally. Tax and NI was paid by my employer on my salary in the UK as well as business rates on our office building but no tax on profits on the business which made many millions each year.

samsam123 Sat 10-May-14 18:45:28

you believe everything you read in The Mirror

grovel Sat 10-May-14 18:50:56

samsam, Google "Gary Barlow Tax".

grovel Sat 10-May-14 18:51:49

And then come back and tell me I've got the story wrong.

I like this

Elizabeth Warren quote

DH and I had a very heated argument about this. I think if you don't want to pay into the system you have no business relying on any public sector worker, directly or indirectly - which is obviously impossible. Barlow is in the same camp
as Chris Car dealer Moyles. Charity work means fuck all when you're sneaking out of paying tax.

He could do a Cliff Richards and emigrate to Barbados and renounce citizenship. Though Cliff might not just be avoiding tax. Who knows.

buyter Sat 10-May-14 19:00:24

YABU he's only acting in his own best interest.

WooWooOwl Sat 10-May-14 19:02:27

But he does pay into the system Sauce.

He might not pay millions, but he certainly pays some. Just like most people.

He doesn't pay what he should otherwise the judge wouldn't be demanding more.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 19:15:51

If a wealthy person pay £1 million of tax in any given year she/he is paying for the entire cost they imposed on the UK in terms of healthcare and education for their whole life.

If they pay VAT and other consumption taxes and business rates and domestic rates as well as NI and income tax on their employees salaries they are paying a huge amount per year.

One system that some countries adopt is to have a ceiling on total tax each year so that no matter how much you earn or assets you own then you only pay up to the maximum limit and then no more.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 19:23:01

Is this issue a worldwide problem?

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 19:24:11

Question was to Man really

evertonmint Sat 10-May-14 19:26:19

Sauce - if he pays what is now requested then he will be paying what he owes.

With PAYE it is very transparent what you should be paying.

Once you're out of that system it becomes harder. Small time landlords or self-employed people for example might put expenses through that they feel are legitimate to avoid paying more tax than necessary. HMRC may dispute that. They may end up paying extra.

GB has done nothing more than a higher-profile, higher-reward bit perhaps higher-risk version of this. If has just ended with a judge saying HMRC are right not the tax accountants.

I'd say he is less deserving of our contempt (for this - who knows about his other tax affairs) than the many tradesmen who do jobs cash in hand to brazenly evade tax. But most people won't criticise them because they're unknown and not millionaires.

ManWithNoName Sat 10-May-14 19:33:57

Yes its a worldwide problem.

The issue is that all Governments including our own are heavily conflicted. The preferential non-dom tax rate in the UK is a prime example.

All Governments want to attract wealthy internationally mobile people and businesses to their jurisdictions. Therefore they give tax breaks. The lower the taxes the more international people and businesses will be attracted. That means all Government end up in competition with each other. They all say they want to prevent tax avoidance but then also want to collect taxes and attract more people to invest and work in their country to increase the size of their economy.

The net result is wealthy internationally mobile people and businesses can just move around between jurisdictions avoiding taxes quite legally because countries will not and indeed cannot cooperate on this issue. Indeed many Governments actively encourage and approach these types of people with special incentives in the hope they will move their income and assets to their jurisdiction.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 19:38:12

I knew that I would get a complicated answer! grin

jonicomelately Sat 10-May-14 19:43:34

Evertonmint it's all relative though. The tradesman is probably struggling to pay his mortgage whereas GB has millions in the bank.

evertonmint Sat 10-May-14 20:22:40

So tax evasion is fine if you don't have much money but tax avoidance isn't fine if you're rich? Really?

That's like saying drunk driving is ok if you're poor but being a bit drunk in public even if you're not driving when you're rich is much worse.

One is illegal, one isn't. The amount of money someone has doesn't come into it.

evertonmint Sat 10-May-14 20:28:01

Joni - are you really truly saying it's ok for people to break the law if they don't have much money? Really? I'm actually gobsmacked!

andsmile Sat 10-May-14 20:30:31

The rich do pay a lot of tax, if a lot of 'rich' people that some complain about stopped earning that income and therefore reducing the ability to pay in substantially more in one year than most in a lifetime there would be seriusly reduced revenues available to pay for services we all access.

People seem to forget that the so called rich people actually work hard to earn that money in the first place. I am not saying people who earn less work any less hard just that they work hard.

man yep dont even go there on dual contracts and whether the work was acutally carried out in a nondome residence or not. Like I said much earlier tax is not as straight forward as calculating a percentage. There are many what if's to apply in varied circumstances.

squoosh Sat 10-May-14 20:35:43

'People seem to forget that the so called rich people actually work hard to earn that money in the first place.'

That's like saying low earners are poor because they don't work hard enough. Not all rich people are rich because they work so very hard.

rabbitrisen Sat 10-May-14 20:39:04

I too have been trying to absorb joni's comment.
Apart from the fact that a lot of tradesmen are comparatively well off nowadays, the law applies to everyone.

I do take the point on board, that if someone is destitute, leniency may be called for.
But if everyone across the land did what you are suggesting, not much tax would be paid by anyone!

jonicomelately Sat 10-May-14 20:40:01

Evertonmint There is nothing in my post to suggest that I think it's ok for anybody not to pay their tax. I pay mine and it irritates me when I hear about other people no matter what their financial status is, who don't pay theirs. That being the case, there is no need whatsoever for you to be gob smacked.
However, in view of the massive rise in the cost of living I can understand why some people at the lower end of the economic food chain are asking to be paid cash in hand. The very wealthy, the likes of Gary Barlow et al, who engage in creative practices to limit their tax avoidance are just being greedy IMO.
The analogy you draw with drink driving isn't a good one. In that case the offence is that a person died, whether you a re driving a knackered old banger or a Range Rovef. Tax evasion is an economic crime, the severity iof which is judged by the benefit to the defendant. Thus a person who evades to the tune of millions is in fact more culpable that somebody who evades their tax liabilibity on a much smaller scale.

andsmile Sat 10-May-14 20:46:52

No squoosh I have stated that in post that is not what Im getting at.

We have a progressive tax system - if you earn more you are taxed more at a much higher rate - double, loss of personal allowance at 110k isn.

My point is if we didnt have high income earners like GB who makes money from worldwide sales - ie that taxable income comes from outside our own economy then we would not have as high revenues to spend.

Attracting rich people to be in the UK to tax them is a desirable and keeping them.

The government tred a fine line between taxing high income groups enough and keeping them here as domiciled residents for tax purposes.

If you earned 1 million and had to pay half to the HMRC and had a way of avoiding payign 5% would you not take it?

evertonmint Sat 10-May-14 20:53:17

Joni - tax evasion (which taking cash in hand is if it is not then declared) is a crime. Tax avoidance (which is what this scheme was designed to do) isn't. After being examined, the scheme has been deemed to not be appropriate and therefore tax is now owed. If GB pays what HMRC now asks for, he has not evaded any tax. He is perhaps doing something that some people (including me) would not do - putting money into complex schemes to avoid tax - but there is no intention to evade with these schemes. Cash in hand with an intention to not declare is always tax evasion and always a crime regardless of how much money that person has.

jonicomelately Sat 10-May-14 21:11:14

I already have a rough understanding of the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion and the fact that the matter we're discussing was put before a tribunal which was not deciding upon the matter as a criminal offence.

sarinka Sat 10-May-14 22:15:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

andsmile Sat 10-May-14 22:21:17

thats a good point that if GB now pays what is owed, he hasnt actually done anything wrong in terms of doing people out of funding stuff as suggested up thread

Andrewofgg Sun 11-May-14 00:03:10

This is the best bit, or perhaps the worst:

A spokesman for Icebreaker Management said "This decision puts valuable funding for the UK's independent music industry in jeopardy.

So the "industry" needs to avoid its taxes - that is, it needs other taxpayers to pay its taxes for it - to survive?

We'll get by without them.

andsmile Sun 11-May-14 09:03:33

Which other taxpayers are being asked to pay their tax?

Andrewofgg Sun 11-May-14 09:25:44

All of us, andsmile - if A avoids tax then B, C, D, E must pay more to achieve the same tax-take.

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Sun 11-May-14 09:34:01

My first thought when I heard this, was about Jason Orange.
Did the others not tell him, because he wasn't around (or they didn't like him), or, was he aware, but decided not to join in? If its the latter, he's the real star.

EffectiveCommunication Sun 11-May-14 09:46:52

Jason Orange must be delighted what ever the reason, he didn't get involved in it.

happyscouse Sun 11-May-14 10:32:07

Jason is a bit of an old hippy and I love him for that. I think his brother is an accountant and he keeps everything really simple and "ethical" for him. The others could do with taking a leaf out of his book.

EffectiveCommunication Sun 11-May-14 10:36:50

If I were JO I would be giving my DB a great big hug grin and myself a pat on the back.

andsmile Sun 11-May-14 12:04:58

Andrew I have not had an additional tax demand, neither has DH.

This is simply not true HMRC will now pursue to collect tax from the income put into this scheme that the court has now deemed taxable.

Andrewofgg Sun 11-May-14 12:24:32

Yes, but if they had got away with it the tax-take would have suffered. More power to HMRC's elbow in challenging these schemes and collecting the money when they succeeds.

It was the suggestion that HMRC was somehow doing down the music industry buy even challenging the scheme which pissed me off.

andsmile Sun 11-May-14 13:06:29

Well, yes they are going to come out and say that in defence. Was the scheme an investment vehicle also? Maybe thats why they felt justified in saying this.

ShakesBootyFlabWobbles Sun 11-May-14 13:24:43

There seems to be some misunderstanding of tax avoidance and tax planning, and it is to do with intention. HMRC have a simple explanation published:

Tax avoidance is an attempt to exploit legislation to gain a tax advantage that was never intended. This often involves artificial transactions that serve little or no purpose other than to produce a tax advantage.

But tax avoidance is not the same as tax planning, which involves applying tax legislation in the way it was intended - for example saving in an ISA (Individual Savings Account) where you don't pay tax on the interest.

I have no issue with businesses and individuals using tax planning, it is legal and what the law sets out to achieve, i.e tax incentives usually to encourage investment, savings and business efficiency.

Take a look at the portfolio of musicians in the Icebreaker Scheme on the website, would you honestly have invested £300million (fund size) into them? Most of them would be touring in 80s festivals and well past their chart topping days.

caruthers Tue 20-May-14 12:54:29

Gaby Logan and Colin Jackson have also been earmarked by HMRC and will pay back after using this scheme. This is probably the tip of the iceberg.

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