Gary Barlow, George Michael And Katie Melua Also Allegedly Involved
Following Take That’s brushes with the taxman, now all four members of Arctic Monkeys, along with a number of public figures, have been revealed by The Times as investors in Britain’s latest high-profile tax avoidance scheme, the NME reports.
Sir Michael Caine, George Michael and Katie Melua, alongside Arctic Monkeys, channeled money through a Leeds-based company known as Mercury Tax Group, in order to protect their earnings and minimise their tax liability. While legal under current law, the scheme, which is known as the Liberty tax strategy, has helped roughly 1,200 investors shelter £1.2 billion from the HRMC.
Allegedly, each member of Arctic Monkeys paid between £38,000 and £84,000 into the strategy in order to guard £557,000 to £1.1m between 2005 and 2009. The band declined to comment when approached by The Times.
George Michael is also alleged to have sheltered up to £6.2m in album and tour sales after paying over £443,000 to avoid tax. According to his assistant, Michael is “too busy” to comment.
During 2008, Katie Melua, used the scheme to protect around £850,000, but has rejected the idea that she has done anything wrong. A spokesperson for ths inger stated, “At the suggestion of her accountants at the time, Ms Melua participated in the Liberty tax planning venture back in 2008 and declared this to HMRC. When HMRC stated they were reviewing the scheme, she paid the tax to HMRC in full. Accordingly, HMRC are not out of pocket and she has not avoided any tax liability.”
Gary Barlow, who was earlier in the year implicated as a member of the Icebreaker tax avoidance scheme, has also been named among those utilising the Liberty tax strategy.
Businessmen, doctors, lawyers and dentists are also among those to have been named in The Times report alongside musicians, actors and Premier League footballers, who have allegedly took advantage of the strategy.