The names of number of top British personalities are featured in the tax avoidance and tax evasion scandal according to records dubbed the “Paradise Papers”. which leaked details of HM The Queen’s wealth hidden away in the Caribbean tax haven Bermuda
The paradise papers are a set of leaked documents obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with an international team of investigative reporters, including the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton avoided tax on his £16.5m luxury jet, the Paradise Papers documents revealed
They show a £3.3m VAT refund was given after the Bombardier Challenger 605 was imported into the Isle of Man in 2013.
It appears a leasing deal set up by advisers was artificial and did not comply with an EU and UK ban on refunds for private use – although he may have been entitled to one for business.
Hamilton’s lawyers say a tax barrister review found the structure was lawful.
They added it was not correct to say no VAT had been paid on any of the arrangements.
At 06:15 on 21 January 2013, Hamilton touched down at Ronaldsway airport on the Isle of Man in his new jet with his then-pop star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger to finalise the paperwork with customs.
While Hamilton’s planned use of the jet was predominantly for business purposes, the BBC’s Panorama programme has seen documents which suggest the 32-year-old F1 Mercedes driver intended to make private flights about a third of the time.
Hamilton’s social media accounts provide evidence he has used the candy apple red Challenger for holidays and on other personal trips around the world.
He has posted a number of photographs of himself on the plane on Instagram – including one showing his bulldogs Roscoe and Coco on board.
“If private usage of the jet is being disguised as business usage of the jet, then what you essentially have is a tax avoidance scheme,” says Rita De La Feria, professor of tax law at Leeds University.
“You’re using it for your own private interests, you’re going on holidays, meeting friends. You’re supposed to pay the tax on private consumption
Mrs Brown’s Boys
Three stars of the popular BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys diverted more than £2m to offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes on their salaries from the show
Patrick Houlihan and Martin and Fiona Delany transferred their fees into companies in Mauritius and sent money back as loans.
Similar tax avoidance schemes have been subject to investigation and challenges by HMRC in recent years.
The actors have not responded to requests for comment.
And U2 rocker Bono put his money in Lithuanian shopping centre according to leaked documents that show how the one per cent stay among the world’s wealthiest.
In four decades of touring the world, the Irish rock band U2 has never played in Utena, a sleepy place in northeast Lithuania.
With just 26,000 people, Utena’s population could fit into one of U2’s stadium concerts twice over. But, unbeknownst to the locals, the band’s frontman, Bono, has long had a stake in their town.
Leaked documents reveal that, for more than a decade, Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson, has secretly been a part-owner of a shopping mall in Utena. After receiving reporters’ questions, local officials launched a probe into the mall for tax arrangements that one expert described as “a crude violation of the tax code.”
Evidence of Bono’s stake in the mall is also found in the Paradise Papers.