Celebs Could Face Huge Tax Bills After Tax Avoidance Legal Ruling

Beckham-backed film scheme loses £700m tax battle

Past year the first-tier tax tribunal ruled that Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP and another scheme called Icebreaker were being used to avoid tax.

A film scheme which attracted investment from sports stars such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney has lost a court battle to appeal a £700 million tax bill.

Irish businessman Bob Geldof and a number of high profile Irish soccer stars face a bill for their share of £700 million the United Kingdom revenue says it is owed after winning the latest legal battle over a failed film investment scheme.

Ingenious, the leading independent investor in the creative industries and backer of hit movies including Avatar and Life of Pi, is to appeal against the judgment of the First-tier Tax Tribunal in its long-running dispute with HMRC over the tax status of its historic film production partnerships which date back as far as 2002.

Although the investors only neglected to pay $420 million in taxes, the interest on the original amount will bring the total to $700 million.

The losses were the accounting losses made by the partnerships, that investors sought to set alongside their other income from the investment.

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HMRC argued Ingenious claimed tax relief on artificial losses from making its films, with the schemes instead created to avoid tax.

This could mean investors will face higher tax bills, though Ingenious is said to be appealing the ruling.

When announcing the appeal a spokesperson for Ingenious said, "All bar one of the 65 films produced by the partnerships now being examined by the Tribunal have achieved a theatrical release".

Those who used the Ingenious scheme had to invest at least £100,000 and were promised significant relief on any losses incurred, but many have subsequently claimed they were poorly advised and were unaware of the implications.

A spokesperson for the HMRC said they were pleased the tribunal came to the conclusion that the initial tax deductions were not justified.

HMRC has previously won cases against another film tax avoidance scheme called Icebreaker.

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