HMRC publish list of tax avoidance schemes, so there's no excuse for rock stars
HM Customs and Revenue has published a list of 800+ schemes that they reckon are being used to deliberately avoid tax and as soon as they get brand new legal powers, happening in August, HMRC will be demanding the disputed tax as "accelerated" payments.
Celebrities such as including David Beckham and Arctic Monkeys have been those accused of using such schemes.
It has been forecast that around 33,000 people will receive tax demands for billions of pounds from HMRC over the next two years. They will be given 90 days to cough-up what's owed and, should a court decided in the celebrities' favour, then they will get their money back.
There's going to be a lot of work in the courts, isn't there?
The published list shows a series of numbers, known as Scheme Reference Numbers (SRNs), because those who come up with these schemes don't give them jazzy names like 'Sleb Cabale Tax Hole' or 'The Fu'coffers'. You can have a look at the most boring list in the world, here.
However, those filling out tax returns have to put these numbers on their forms, so they should be able to spot whether they're owing money to HMRC pretty easily.
Of course, we can't expect pop stars to be good for much, and in the case of Katie Melua, she admitted she's been thoroughly "clueless about tax" when she signed up to a tax scheme. She's paid off all the tax she owes though, so she's alright.
That said, the main gripe here is not necessarily that pop stars and celebrities are avoiding paying their taxes, but rather, that they've managed to ferret all that money away and still be gigantically boring with it!
What ever happened to feeling a tax code and buying a crumbling French mansion and taking loads of heroin with models and the like?