TWO former high-profile Premier League footballers have been be slapped with seven-figure tax bills after investing in an alleged tax avoidance scheme.
The ex-players are alleged to have invested money in two media schemes, along with four other former stars, including Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.
The total money invested in the scheme is said to be in excess of €6m over a number of years. Match of the Day host Lineker (54) is reported to have invested in the “tax efficient film investment scheme” between 2003 and 2007.
It is not known how much the former England international invested in the company, which in the past has given notices to clients such as Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (29) former England captain David Beckham (29) and Liverpool star Steven Gerrard (34) warning them of a crackdown from the UK’s Revenue service over the scheme.
Also facing a huge tax bill is former England and Fulham footballer Danny Murphy (38), who has been ordered to pay €3.35m to the British exchequer after investing in two Ingenious schemes.
Television pundit and ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (48) has also been handed a hefty tax penalty and is said to have paid around €2.7m to the taxman in the UK, which has been described as a “retrospective bill”.
Around 1,000 investors are said to have put money into the company’s movie venture that promised to combine box office hits with tempting tax breaks.
Hit movies such as Life of Pi, Avatar and Girl With a Pearl Earring are all believed to have been among the films which gained investment from the scheme.
However, the HMRC has argued that the schemes were not a legitimate investment scheme but rather a means of avoiding paying tax.