Call to investigate Prince's taxes

An influential group of MPs has called on the Treasury to see if Prince Charles' estate has an "unfair advantage" because it is does not have to pay business tax. The Duchy of Cornwall does not have to pay corporation or capital gains tax.

Duchy will 'carefully consider' better tax transparency

The Duchy of Cornwall will "carefully consider" the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) calls for greater transparency in their tax affairs.

However, representatives for the Prince of Wales' estate denied they had an "unfair tax advantage" over other businesses.

We will carefully consider the content of the report and will contribute as necessary to any response by the Treasury.

As we explained in the hearing, we do not believe the Duchy has an unfair tax advantage over its competitors.

The Duke of Cornwall's income is taxed at income tax rates. The Duchy is not subject to corporation tax and the Duchy is not a corporation.

The Duchy is exempt from tax on capital gains, any capital gains have to be reinvested in the business and cannot be distributed.

– A Duchy of Cornwall Spokesman

Female royal heir should bear 'Duke of Cornwall' title

The next woman to inherit the throne should bear the title "Duke of Cornwall", according to a group of MPs.

As part of their investigation into Prince Charles' portfolio of land, property and investments, the Public Accounts Committee said the Duchy of Cornwall's charter needed to come in line with changes to the law of succession.

At the moment, the Duchy's charter rules that each future Duke of Cornwall be the eldest son and heir of the monarch, which is out of line with the Succession to the Crown Act 2013. A female heir to the British throne should be allowed to bear the title 'Duke of Cornwall'.

– Chair of the public accounts committee Margaret Hodge

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'Greater transparency' needed from Duchy

An estate run by Prince Charles needs to modernise and provide "greater transparency", the chair of an influential committee of MPs has said.

Labour's Margaret Hodge, who heads up the Public Accounts Committee, wants the Treasury to investigate the Duchy of Cornwall to see if it has an "unfair advantage" over other businesses in its tax payments.

The Duchy enjoys an exemption from paying tax even though it engages in a range of commercial activities.

This tax exemption may give it an unfair advantage over its competitors who do pay corporation and capital gains tax.

The Treasury should examine whether the Duchy's tax exemption creates an unlevel playing field.

The transparency of the Prince of Wales' tax payments is limited by the fact that income tax and VAT are reported only as a combined total.

These figures should be disclosed separately, so we can understand precisely how much, and at what rate, income tax is paid by the Prince.

– Chair of the public accounts committee Margaret Hodge

MPs: Charles' estate may have 'unfair advantage'

The Prince of Wales' portfolio of land, property and investments may have an "unfair advantage" over other enterprises because it does not have to pay some business taxes, an influential group of MPs has said.

Prince Charles
MPs are calling on Prince Charles to run his Duchy of Cornwall estate with greater transparency. Credit: PA

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) want the Treasury to investigate the Duchy of Cornwall to see if an "unlevel playing field" has emerged as it is exempt from corporation and capital gains taxes.

In a report, PAC called for a more robust investigation from HMRC: "The Treasury does not do enough to properly scrutinise the Duchy's finances. It relies on the Duchy to provide it with accurate information without carrying out its own independent checks."

The estate generated £28.8 million over the last financial year, which the Prince received £19 million of as income - an increase of 4% on the previous year.

Read more: Prince Charles' private estate faces scrutiny