Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles could be facing a huge tax bill after an appeal in a multi-million pound tax avoidance scheme case failed.
The Mirror reported on 30 September that two people who had signed up to the £290 million Working Wheels scheme – sold to 450 celebrities, fund managers and other high earners, who tried to claim they were second-hand car dealers in their spare time – appealed against a tax tribunal decision made in February.
The tribunal, in which Mr Moyles was one of three appellants, found for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), saying: “A realistic view of the facts shows that the aim was that the appellants, ‘as though by magic’, should appear to have incurred vast fees as a condition of borrowing modest amounts of money they did not need in order to invest it in a ‘trade’ they had no desire to pursue.”
The appeal against that ruling has now failed and the Mirror reported that NT Advisors, which sold Working Wheels, had warned investors that HMRC would “seek to collect outstanding tax and interest”.
In February, Mr Moyles apologised for his involvement in the scheme, saying: “Upon advice, I signed up to a scheme which I was assured was legal. Despite this, my knowledge of the dealings of the scheme were naive. I’m not a tax expert and acted on advice I was given. This was a mistake and I accept the ruling without reservation.”
With the government and HMRC intent on closing the UK tax gap – the difference between tax owed and tax collected – high profile celebrities are not the only people likely to be caught up in tax investigations and the potentially serious consequences that can accompany them.
With this in mind, any taxpayer concerned about their own tax affairs, and who believes they might become subject to a tax investigation, would be wise to seek expert advice.
Our specialists at Taxation-Investigation, including ex-HMRC professionals, can provide specialist advice to clarify their situation and on the options available to them, so they can make informed decisions about the best way forward. We can also assist in mitigating outcomes or presenting a robust defence where tax affairs are in order.
For more information on our tax investigation services, please contact us.