Wellington City CEO Named in UK Tax Avoidance Scheme
QCs doctors, pop stars and others have been caught up in a major tax avoidance plan in the UK, which have included former UK-based and now Wellington City CEO Kevin Lavery.
Mr Lavery formerly worked as chief executiv e of the Cornwall Council and invested £1.2m according to the documents reported by The Times.
The “Liberty Tax Scheme” is one of the UK’s largest tax avoidance schemes and helped clients generage large losses offshore to avoid tax on other income earned and has been reportedly used byGeorge Michael, Sir Michael Caine and Katie Melua. The scheme is not illegal but is the subject of intense interest and inquiry by the UK Revenue.
They are among 1,600 people who tried to keep £1.2bn out of reach of the UK Revenue through one of Britain’s biggest tax-avoidance schemes.
A secret database of its members, leaked to The Times, includes celebrities, leading business figures, NHS doctors and a judge. Also named is Paul Nicholson, a loan shark who raped and assaulted impoverished clients in Cheshire.
George Michael attempted to shelter £6.2m in income from record and tour sales after paying £443,000 in fees to the Leeds-based company that ran the scheme. The Wham star stated in 1996 that he would happily pay “50 or even 60 per cent” in tax to a Labour government, yet his investments in Liberty were made seven years ago, while Labour’s was in power.
High paid lawyers and retired circuit charge Hazel Marshall QC have been named in the reports carried by the Times newspaper, which also named high profile criminal barrister Siimon Myerson QC as another who sheltered a seven figure sum in the scheme.
In the UK the government last year announced new rules permitting the Treasury to ban companiees wwho are found guilty of attempting tax avoidance.