What’s new in the world of tax?

Harry Potter actor appeals tax decision

Harry Potter (and now ABC Murders) star Rupert Grint is challenging a tribunal ruling which denied him a £1m tax refund for planning undertaken for his 2010-11 tax return. He is now taking his case to the Upper Tribunal.

HMRC & Jordan make deal

Katie Price has reached an Individual Voluntary Arrangement with her creditors, including HMRC, in the High Court and will pay off a £22,000 tax bill in instalments.

Yorke settles £1.5m tax bill

Dwight Yorke has avoided bankruptcy after paying off a £1.5m tax debt. The former footballer had been taken to court in October by HMRC but has now paid his bill in full, a spokesman said.

Singer’s accountant pleads guilty to fraud

Accountant Mark Livermore has admitted taking almost £599,000 from X Factor winner James Arthur. Appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, he admitted one count of fraud, saying he moved funds to other accounts without Mr Arthur’s knowledge or permission while working for the musician’s company, Raff Music.

Shakira charged with £13m tax evasion in Spain

Colombian singer Shakira has been charged with tax evasion by Spanish authorities which allege she avoided €14.5m (£13m) in taxes by claiming to live in the Bahamas while actually resident in Catalonia.

Ronaldo to take tax penalty

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo will be tried for tax fraud in Spain on 21 January, having been accused of four counts of tax fraud between 2011 and 2014. He is expected to plead guilty and be reprimanded with a suspended two-year sentence, with it reported that he will also pay a £17.1m fine.

Queen of Soul owes millions to US tax authorities

Aretha Franklin’s estate has paid at least $3m (£2.36m) in back taxes since her death in August, the estate’s lawyer David Bennett said. The singer reportedly owes more than $6.3m in back taxes from 2012 to 2018 and $1.5m in penalties. However her lawyer stated that : “We have disputes with the Internal Revenue Service regarding what they claim was income…. they don’t understand how the business works.”

Tax man watches TV to catch fraudsters

Tax officials are watching TV programmes such as Grand Designs and Homes Under The Hammer to build cases against developers who submit dodgy returns. An HMRC source said: “It’s been going on for years. We make an average of one new case a month”.

Happiness just £1m away

The belief that more money will make you happier does not disappear even when you have a net worth of more than £1m, according to a new study. Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School, asked 2,000 millionaires how happy they were on a scale of one to ten and how much more money they would need to reach ten on that scale. The findings were that everyone would need two or three times as much as they had already!

Tax chief knighted in New Year Honours

Jon Thompson, the head of HM Revenue & Customs, has been knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours. Critics were unimpressed however, with Chloe Westley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, describing the honour as “over-the-top” while Stuart Hosie, an SNP member of the Treasury select committee, said: “It might have made more sense to hold this so-called honour back until HMRC has managed to tax the tech giants properly.” HMRC last night said its latest tax take was a record £605bn, while there was a 10% drop in the number of calls to its helpline and the average waiting time was under five minutes. Try telling that to all those who have wasted much more than five minutes of their life trying to get HMRC to pick up the phone!

£5.7bn Xmas tax take

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has calculated that the taxman will receive an average of £211 from every UK household this Christmas. VAT makes up around £5.2bn, alcohol duty raises around £301m and fuel duty stands at £243m.

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