Tag Archives: Tax avoidance

Panama Papers: the Cameron connection


I’ve been pretty busy working on some long-lead stuff recently – and filling in for Beatrice Wilford over at Five Books, a great website of literary interviews and book recommendations – but I took a bit of time out to write this brief analysis of the UK fallout of the “Panama Papers” leak that’s being making the headlines for the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

David Cameron’s late father has been revealed in the leaked correspondence to have been a client of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm, and the full extent of the lengths his investment fund went to to (legally) avoid UK tax have been laid bare.

My former Sunday Times colleague (and co-author of that explosive biography of the PM) Isabel Oakeshott, and the tax campaigner Richard Murphy were kind enough to chat to me about the implications for Cameron – particularly his campaign to tackle tax avoidance through tax havens, which he made much of at the G8 meetings in Northern Ireland in 2013.

Full text of the article can be found here.

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Stamp duty dodge to be stamped out

I co-wrote this article about Government plans to close a tax loophole which allows stamp duty to be avoided on multi-million pound properties, by buying and selling them via an overseas company.

This way, it is only the shares in the overseas company that change hands when the house is sold on, a transaction which attracts very little tax in territories like Panama or the BVI.

Legal note: both the Mittal and Goldsmith families said that stamp duty was paid when the properties mentioned in the article (all held through overseas companies) were purchased.

Full text is on the Sunday Times website here, or after the fold.

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Defenders turn avoiders in tax scheme

As part of a Sunday Times reporting team I helped investigate the financial affairs of dozens of premiership footballers. We found that top players, including England defender Wayne Rooney, are able to avoid millions of pounds in tax through complex avoidance schemes.

Full text is available on the Sunday Times website here, or after the fold.

Robert Watts and Maurice Chittenden also wrote an accompanying feature for the ‘focus’ section to explain how the schemes work – find it here.

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