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Lord Ashcroft

 
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BASEL
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Lord Ashcroft Reply with quote

Conservative Lord Ashcroft 'avoids' full UK tax bill
Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft's business empire is valued at 1.1bn



Lord Ashcroft has continued to avoid millions of pounds of tax despite promising to become a full UK taxpayer, the BBC has learned.

The Conservative peer transferred ownership of his main UK company, the Impellam Group, to a trust for the benefit of his children, Panorama has found.

Lord Ashcroft, who is set to resign as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, transferred his 17m stake in Impellam on 5 April.

The next day, on 6 April, a new law forced people sitting in the House of Lords to pay tax on their worldwide income and assets.

Tax lawyer Richard Frimston told Panorama that Lord Ashcroft would have faced a hefty inheritance tax bill under the new legislation if he had made the change one day later.

"If that had been done on the following day, assets worth say 17m going into trust would have been subject to tax at 20%, which would have created an immediate inheritance tax charge of something in the region of 3.4m.

"So that was avoided by doing it on 5 April as opposed to waiting until 6 April."
Confirmed status

A month before the new law took effect, Lord Ashcroft had said in a statement that he agreed with the new tax rules for the House of Lords.

And in a televised interview on election night, he confirmed that he was becoming a full UK taxpayer.

The billionaire businessman has not broken any rules by using the family trust, but his actions appear to conflict with the coalition government's stance on tax avoidance.

Lord Ashcroft's tax status has long been controversial.

He was only allowed to take up his seat in the House of Lords in 2000 after agreeing to take up permanent residence in the UK and pay tax on his worldwide income.

At the time, the then opposition leader William Hague said Lord Ashcroft's decision would benefit the treasury tens of millions of pounds a year.

But 10 years later, Lord Ashcroft admitted that he had never become a permanent resident after all.

He had got officials to agree he could become a long term resident instead, which meant he did not have to pay tax on his income from abroad.

Panorama: Lord Ashcroft's Millions, BBC One, Monday, 27 September at 2030BST and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.


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BASEL
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plot thickens:

A BBC Panorama investigation into the financial affairs of the outgoing Conservative party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft was tonight pulled from BBC1's evening schedules at the last moment.

The programme is believed to have run into legal problems following objections from the Tory benefactor, who has been at the centre of fierce political controversy over his previous status as a tax exile.

The 64-year-old businessman, whose commercial interests are centred on Belize, is estimated to have given at least 11m to the party, with some of the funds focused on key Conservative target seats. He has fought several legal battles to defend himself against allegations about his business practices.

The Panorama programme, widely trailed over the weekend in the run-up to its anticipated Monday evening slot, alleged Ashcroft had avoided more than 3m in tax through a financial manoeuvre that involved transferring shares in the Impellam Group worth 17m to a trust to benefit his children.

Sources close to the peer claimed the programme was pulled because journalists had misinterpreted a company document released by Impellam on 6 April 2010.

Some of the interviews for the programme were filmed before the general election. Lawyers for Ashcroft have been engaged in a year-long battle with the BBC over the investigation into the Tory peer.

The Impellam document said the company "had been notified that, following a transfer of an indirect interest in the company, Lord Ashcroft no longer has a beneficial interest in 25,745,349 ordinary shares of 1p each in the company. These shares represented the whole of his beneficial interest in the company".

The BBC's investigators interpreted this to mean that Ashcroft had controlled the shares and subsequently moved them into a trust to benefit his children, according to a Conservative source. Ashcroft's lawyers, however, argued that the use of the phrase "indirect interest" showed that he did not own the shares.

A BBC spokesman last night confirmed that the programme had been delayed. "We put a number of questions to Lord Ashcroft two weeks ago, including one relating to a share interest transfer. We asked for a response by Friday 24 September. A response was received this afternoon. We have been given information that sheds new light on that issue and we will therefore review the programme."

The Conservative source said that the peer had been "saddened" and alleged there had been by a "demise of journalistic standards" at the BBC.

"There has been enormous waste of public money chasing this story from flights to the Caribbean, to expensive legal fees," he said. "How the BBC could get itself into such a mess over such an easily checkable fact is laughable."

Lord Ashcroft's spokesman declined to comment.

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To resist the influence of others, knowledge of one's self is most important.

Draw from your past....... but don't let your past draw from you

Yama, The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was..... is lost. For none now live who remember it.

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sickbagsam
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8080379.stm
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BASEL
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sam, i have embedded this for you


_________________
To resist the influence of others, knowledge of one's self is most important.

Draw from your past....... but don't let your past draw from you

Yama, The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was..... is lost. For none now live who remember it.

For all your Computer needs www.btlogic.co.uk
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