Jimmy Carr is coming to Jersey with his show “Funny Business” on 4th August 2015.
He knows a thing or two about a funny business, like a tax avoidance scheme, from his past.
Last year he paid more than £500,000 in tax last year – after his company produced bumper profits. He is now paying his full share in the UK after quitting a controversial off-shore tax-avoidance scheme, which certainly was a “funny business” that he would probably like to forget.
Around 2012, he quit the scheme K2. He had placed as much as £3.3million into the Jersey-based K2 scheme from his TV appearances, DVD sales and live shows. K2 helped members shelter millions of pounds from the taxman, cutting bills to just 1 per cent. Carr said he had been told the scheme was entirely legal.
In 2014, actor Robson Green hit out at celebrities like Carr who had or were using tax avoidance schemes and the importance of everyone paying their fair share: “Anybody who tells me they’re not going to pay tax… we’ve got an NHS system on its knees…
'I tell you what, my son was in real trouble when he was young and we took him to the hospital, there were four specialists waiting for him. That’s why you pay your taxes. ‘We’ve got a police system who protect us, we’ve got firemen who put out fires. We’ve got defence, man. That’s what tax is for.’
It might be noted that Jimmy Carr’s bill last year is enough to pay for 25 graduate trainee nurses starting on the entry-level £21,000 salary.
Apparently Lord Alan Sugar was offered, and turned down, the same tax avoidance schemes which gave Gary Barlow and Jimmy Carr such bad publicity. Sugar said:
“I’ve had various schemes thrown at me by various people, and I’ve never been interested. Loads of times I was offered their schemes but I’m a very straightforward thinking person and I keep things nice and straight. They come up with all these fascinating schemes which are all allegedly legal and yet the people who bring them to you all then get a fee for doing so. Then off they go and, 10 years later, you find out it was all wrong. “I try and keep it very simple – pay your tax, that’s it. I’ve been right in the end.””
But there’s a twist to the tail on Jimmy Carr. According to the Daily Mail report from 18th July, 2015 this year:
“Comedian Jimmy Carr was condemned by David Cameron three years ago when he was exposed as a beneficiary of an aggressive tax avoidance scheme. Is he about to give HMRC another swerve?
"Carr has put the company that handles his millions, F N Good, into voluntary liquidation — a move which appears extraordinary as the firm is in rude health, with a profit of £4 million in the past 13 months and total assets of £9.5 million.”
“Carr declines to comment, but tax experts say he could now apply for Entrepreneurs’ Tax Relief, resulting in a tax bill of just 10 per cent of the £9.5 million, instead of 28 per cent in capital gains tax.”
More funny business?