Celebrity tax dodgers under fire

CELEBRITIES and corporations are using offshore trusts, tax havens or wives and civil partners to avoid paying their fair share of tax, according to a new study.

The TUC published the most popular ways “regularly employed” to get around tax rules as part of its campaign for action against celebrity tax dodgers.

Tax-avoiding measures included the use of tax havens like the Bahamas and Panama, sports stars paying tax separately on their image rights, and income paid to a wife or civil partner.

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The domicile rule was said to be the tax dodger’s best friend, allowing the super-rich to live in the UK but place most of their income offshore.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The overwhelming majority of people in the UK have little choice over the amount of tax they pay and unlike big corporations and super-rich celebrities don’t have the means to employ expensive accountants to help them avoid paying their fair share of tax.

“Each year billions of pounds which the super-rich should be paying in tax leaves the country and is lost to the public purse. Meanwhile, the Government’s insistence that rapid spending cuts are the only way to reduce the deficit, no matter what effect austerity is having upon the UK economy, means that it is ordinary families who are suffering while those most able to afford to pay more get away virtually scot-free.

“The Chancellor has said he finds tax avoidance morally repugnant - so do we and that’s why we want him to act. Closing down the multiple loopholes which super-rich celebrities and their accountants jump through on a regular basis could make a huge difference to our public finances and take the pressure off the little people who are bearing the brunt of the Government’s austerity measures.”

The TUC published the tax avoidance measures in a spoof gossip magazine, Kerching! A Celebrity Guide To Tax Dodging.