Monday 23 October 2017

Carr backs down and apologises over tax controversy

James Tapsfield in London

DAVID Cameron has defended wading into the row over Jimmy Carr's tax affairs after the comedian admitted he had made a "terrible error of judgment".

But the British prime minister declined to criticise Take That singer Gary Barlow, who has also been accused of using a complex scheme to avoid paying millions of pounds to the UK's HM Revenue & Customs.

Mr Carr (pictured) bowed to pressure yesterday by releasing a statement apologising for his actions.

"I appreciate as a comedian, people will expect me to 'make light' of this situation, but I'm not going to in this statement as this is obviously a serious matter," he said.

"I met with a financial adviser and he said to me 'Do you want to pay less tax? It's totally legal'. I said 'Yes'.

"I now realise I've made a terrible error of judgment.

Avoidance

"Although I've been advised the K2 Tax scheme is entirely legal, and has been fully disclosed to HMRC, I'm no longer involved in it and will in future conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly.

"Apologies to everyone."

Speaking to ITV News during a visit to Mexico yesterday, Mr Cameron joined a chorus of criticism of Mr Carr, whose tax arrangements were disclosed in 'The Times' on Tuesday.

Describing them as "straightforward tax avoidance", the PM said it was unfair on the people who pay to watch the comic perform that he is not paying his taxes in the same way that they do.

He said: "I think some of these schemes -- and I think particularly of the Jimmy Carr scheme -- I have had time to read about and I just think this is completely wrong."

It has been alleged that Take That stars Mr Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, and the band's manager Jonathan Wild, invested at least £26m (€32.3m) in a scheme run by Icebreaker Management Services -- which says it works within the law.

Irish Independent

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