Goldfinger Gold Bullion Tax Avoidance Scheme – AKA Goldfinger Corporate Tax
The Goldfinger Scheme, also known as Goldfinger Corporate Tax, was a tax avoidance scheme devised and promoted by Achilles Products Ltd and a related firm, Redbox Tax Associates LLP. It involved the attempted extraction of company profits, “tax free”, in a scheme that involved the purchase and sale of gold bullion.
How it Worked
The Scheme was designed to allow directors, shareholders or senior employees of small to medium-sized companies to extract otherwise highly taxable remuneration in such a way as to simultaneously avoid Corporation Tax, PAYE/Income Tax and National Insurance Contribution payments.
The Scheme was one of almost Byzantine complexity and involved the acquisition of a second-hand insurance bond provided by an Isle of Man entity, the entry into an “out of the money” gilt option with one bank, the acquisition of a substantial loan from a second bank and the notional creation of an entitlement to a substantial capital sum in gold bullion.
At the end of all of this laborious process the directors/shareholders of the company were supposed to be able to extract all of the profits from the company without having to pay Income Tax or National Insurance and with the company escaping any liability to Corporation Tax or Capital Gains Tax.
Quite predictably, HMRC reacted aggressively to the Goldfinger Corporate Tax Scheme and raised assessments in respect of the “avoided” tax and National Insurance Contributions. They also successfully attacked the Scheme under the General Anti-Abuse Rule.
One client for whom FS Legal acted on the Goldfinger Scheme was left with a liability well into seven figures. That claim was brought by FS Legal on a contingent fee (no-win, no-fee) basis and was settled at a mediation which occurred in the latter part of 2020.
Route to Redress
In the event that advisors, accountants or tax advisors failed to properly advise clients of the high-risk nature of the Goldfinger Corporate Tax Scheme they and their professional indemnity insurers are likely to face substantial claims on behalf of Goldfinger Tax Scheme investors who have been adversely affected.
In acting for Goldfinger Corporate Tax investors, FS Legal is working with tax and professional negligence specialist barrister George Rowell, Tax and Professional Negligence specialist of Exchange Chambers in Manchester commented on the Goldfinger Scheme as follows:
“The Goldfinger Scheme was a blatant attempt to frustrate Parliament’s intention that the owners and managers of a business should pay tax on the money they extract for their personal benefit. It was always entirely predictable that HMRC would attack the Scheme with all the legal weapons at their disposal. From July 2013 those weapons included the General Anti-Abuse Rule, which was specifically designed to defeat aggressive tax avoidance schemes such as this one.”
FS Legal Solicitors
FS Legal is one of the very few law firms in the country specialising in claims arising from schemes like the Goldfinger Tax Avoidance Scheme as promoted by Achilles. We have a leading team of expert lawyers who have been ranked by the independent legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in this specified field.
Chambers & Partners wrote: The team is especially skilled acting on high-value tax-related disputes.
Legal 500 comment: FS Legal has a national reputation for high-profile, multi-million pound “big ticket” litigation, in particular tax negligence claims having recovered seven figure settlements …… FS Legal is described by some as “the only pure financial services litigation firm outside London – its team is the envy of many of the top law firms it comes up against”.
Our team has successfully pursued claims against accountants who recommended cash extraction schemes such as the Goldfinger Tax Avoidance Scheme and other promotors such as Achilles, and against accountants and tax advisors who recommended schemes like the Goldfinger Tax Avoidance Scheme without explaining the significant risks involved.
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