Carr apologises for tax scheme

The comedian Jimmy Carr has apologised for using a tax avoidance scheme. David Cameron told ITV News yesterday Carr's tax arrangements were "morally wrong" - but today refused to comment on singer Gary Barlow's tax affairs.

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Jimmy Carr's publicist says tax avoidance issue 'will plateau out'

The publicist for comedian Jimmy Carr has told PRWeek that he has been advising Carr on how to handle the tax avoidance affair. The Corporation chairman Gary Farrow spoke of the decision to issue an apology:

You’ve got to deal with it and take it on the chin. We’re working around it. It’s going to plateau out - he hasn’t taken drugs and he hasn’t been caught with a hooker. He hasn’t broken the law.

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8 out of 10 panellists tease Jimmy Carr over tax affairs

Jimmy Carr has presented 8 out of 10 Cats since 2005. Credit: PA

Comedian Jimmy Carr faced merciless teasing from his 8 Out Of 10 Cats team-mates after dominating the headlines this week over his tax affairs.

During tonight's recording, team captain Sean Lock waded in by telling Carr: "We all like to put a bit of money away for a rainy day, don't we? But I think you're more prepared than Noah."

And broadcaster Georgie Thompson chipped in: "On the plus side, at least you've been in a top 5 list of something."

8 Out Of 10 Cats is on Channel 4 at 10pm tomorrow.

UK Uncut: Tax avoidance clearly immoral

The anti-austerity campaign group UK Uncut has said that individuals and corporations who it claims are avoiding paying tax are "clearly acting immorally" and urged the Government to clamp down on the practice:

The government must make Vodafone, Phillip Green, Amazon, Google, Barclays, Goldman Sachs- and all the other mega-rich individuals and corporations raking in massive profits- pay their fair share in tax. They must invest the money they raise in our public services, stop the cuts, and protect our jobs, pensions, welfare and other public sector goods and services. And they must do it now.

– UK Uncut statement

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'We need a tax avoidance principle, not more rules'

Richard Murphy, an accountant who writes the blog Tax Research UK, has said that the Government needs to use its common sense and root out people whose tax bill does not match their earnings. Commenting on Jimmy Carr's tax arrangement (which he has vowed to change) he said:

There is a mismatch between economic reality andthe way [income] is being taxed. When that happens the Revenue should be ableto say: we are going to ignore all the artificial [tax avoiding] steps and instead tax theincome ... Whenever you put a rule in place the accountants find a way to break the rules. What we have to say is: rules are not good enough. We need a principle that lets us say (tax avoidance) is wrong.

– Richard Murphy, Tax Research UK

Jimmy Carr: 'Let's see if I can take it'

Comedian Jimmy Carr has hinted that he will receive a dose of his own medicine on Channel 4's '8 Out Of 10 Cats' programme tonight:

Michael Meacher MP: Tax avoidance happening on an industrial scale

The Labour MP Michael Meacher has said that tax avoidance is happening on "an industrial scale" in the UK.

Yesterday, he introduced a Private Member's Bill designed to crack down on "schemes that are purely about avoiding tax on a massive scale".

Michael Meacher MP Credit: PA

He told BBC News that under the proposed legislation "any device that was purely to avoid tax would be declared null and void."

He continued: "that would make it easier for the Inland Revenue to block these schemes which are now on an industrial scale".

He said that the vast majority of tax avoiders are ultra wealthy people rather than ordinary wage earners, and added that he pays his dues.

PM: 'Not right' to comment on tax affairs of individuals

Prime Minister David Cameron said he would not be giving a "running commentary on different people's tax affairs" as "that would be wrong". He was responding to ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby who asked if he thought Gary Barlow's tax affairs were morally wrong.

Mr Cameron also said it was important to distinguish between tax avoidance and tax evasion: the latter being illegal. He said the government would support for HMRC to pursue individuals engaging in "aggressive tax avoidance."

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