Gary Barlow urged to hand back OBE

Take That star Gary Barlow is facing calls to hand back his OBE over claims he invested in a tax avoidance scheme.

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  1. Rachel Townsend

Gary Barlow urged to return OBE over tax row

There are calls for the Take That singer and X-Factor judge Gary Barlow to hand back his OBE over allegations that he's been avoiding paying tax.

The singer along with two Take That bandmates paid into a scheme four years ago, at the time their lawyers claim they believed the investments were legitimate.

  1. National

Take That stars' investor 'disappointed' with tax ruling

A management company for three stars of pop band Take That has said it is "extremely disappointed" with a court ruling that they may need to pay millions of pounds after claims of tax avoidance.

Take That singers Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Gary Barlow. Credit: PA

Icebreaker Management set up 51 partnerships for investments totalling £26 million from Take That members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, but Judge Colin Bishopp said the partnerships - styled as music industry investment schemes - were used for tax avoidance.

Icebreaker Management said it was considering the ruling and whether to appeal, but HMRC said: "We will not tolerate abuse of the system by people trying to dodge their tax obligations."

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PM: 'Not necessary' for Gary Barlow to give back OBE

It is "not necessary" for Gary Barlow to return his OBE despite his involvement in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme, the Prime Minister has told Good Morning Britain.

David Cameron said the Take That singer had "done a huge amount for the country".

But the Prime Minister said the scheme that Barlow and bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen invested in was clearly "wrong" and said: "It's right that they are going to have to pay back the money."

The Take That trio may have to pay back £26 million after Judge Colin Bishop ruled that 51 partnerships set up by Icebreaker Management were used for tax avoidance purposes.

PM rejects calls for Barlow to hand back OBE

Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected calls for Take That star Gary Barlow to hand back his OBE over claims the pop star invested in a tax avoidance scheme.

Mr Cameron said he did not think that removing the honour from Barlow was "necessary".

I mean Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country, he has raised money for charity, he has done very well for Children in Need, so I'm not sure... the OBE is in respect of that work and what he has done.

But clearly what this scheme was was wrong and it is right that they are going to have to pay back the money.

I am against these aggressive tax avoidance schemes but I am not just against them - this Government has taken a huge amount of steps to legislate and toughen the laws and go after aggressive tax avoidance schemes for the very simple reason that if people go after these schemes and aggressively avoid tax they are making it the case that everyone else has to pay higher taxes as a result."

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Barlow and two other members of Take That refused to comment on reports over the weekend that they face having to pay tens of millions of pounds in tax after a court ruled a partnership in which they invested was a tax avoidance scheme.

The singer along with Howard Donald, Mark Owen and their manager Jonathan Wild invested £66 million into two partnerships styled as music industry investment schemes, according to reports.

Barlow urged to return OBE over tax

Gary Barlow Credit: PA

Take That star Gary Barlow is facing calls to hand back his OBE over claims he invested in a tax avoidance scheme.

Prime Minister David Cameron hit out at "aggressive" tax avoiders while senior MPs from across the political spectrum waded in to voice their displeasure.

The singer from Cheshire and two other members of Take That refused to comment on reports over the weekend that they face having to pay tens of millions of pounds in tax after a court ruled a partnership in which they invested was a tax avoidance scheme.

Barlow along with Howard Donald, Mark Owen and their manager Jonathan Wild invested £66 million into two-partnerships styled as music-industry investment schemes, according to reports.

Judge Colin Bishopp ruled that 51 partnerships set up by Icebreaker Management were to secure tax relief for members and HM Revenue and Customs is now expected to demand repayment.

It was alleged in 2012 that Barlow, Donald, Owen and Wild invested at least £26 million in a scheme run by Icebreaker Management. At the time Take That's lawyers insisted the bandmates believed the investments were legitimate enterprises and that all four named paid "significant tax".

Mr Cameron told The Times: "I am opposed to all aggressive tax avoidance." Barlow, who has previously been seen on the campaign trail with Mr Cameron, masterminded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert and was given an honour for services to the entertainment industry and to charity in 2012.

Labour's Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, who has brought a spotlight to bear on tax avoidance, said Barlow "might want to show a bit of contrition by giving back his OBE".

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