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tv   Offshore Secrets of the Rich Exposed...  BBC News  November 6, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm GMT

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h —m— “u“ ‘ur in a rural church sent threatening text messages to his mother—in—law in the days before yesterday's attack. a british charity worker is killed in nigeria, three weeks after he was kidnapped by militants. three others taken hostage kidnapped by militants. three others ta ken hostage have kidnapped by militants. three others taken hostage have been freed. the mp for taken hostage have been freed. the mpfora taken hostage have been freed. the mp for a british iranian woman imprisoned in iran has accused the foreign secretary borisjohnson of making comments that could double her sentence. she was jailed after taking her daughter on holiday to meet her pa rents. huw edwards will be back in an hour with the news at 10. first a special edition of panorama. tonight on panorama: more revelations from the leak that's shocking the world, the paradise papers. what do you to our viewers who pay their tax? the secrets of the rich and wealthy laid bare. who pay their tax? the secrets of the rich and wealthy laid barelj don't know how they haven't been caught yet. maybe after this
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programme they will be. the paradise papers show how britain's off shore empire helps the rich and powerful dodge tax. you have an non—transparent system dodge tax. you have an non-transparent system we do not have a non—transparent system. non-transparent system we do not have a non—transparent systemlj can't see it. you don't count. how we're all losing out because of it. every time they close a school in your neighbourhood. every time they have to close a hospital, a lot of that happens because rich individuals and corporations are not paying theirfair share individuals and corporations are not paying their fair share of the costs of society. we expose the british tax havens happy to help people beat the taxman. will you apologise, if a law was changed here to help tax dodgers? if that has happened as you're stating, yes, i will apologise. we've found a new tax dodge used by the world's most profitable company. you can see them as this fantastically innovative it
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company but you can also see them as a fantastically innovative tax dodger. we confront the millionaires hiding their wealth offshore. were you dodging tax? and the internationally famous comedian who told panorama to (bleep) off. after we found that actors on his show we re we found that actors on his show were dodging tax. can you tell me about your taxes, you get paid in mauritius, what's all that about? it was a big summer in bermuda, the world's most prestigious yachting race, the america's cup came to the islands. one of the sponsors is now
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at the centre of one of the biggest data leaks at the centre of one of the biggest data lea ks in at the centre of one of the biggest data leaks in history, appleby. when awe rife, one of the world's most prestigious sporting events, you're greeted with an array of flags of all the sponsors of the right in the middle is appleby. this event is not mass market. this is a high end event. people here are, the sponsored are elite and working companies, in the middle of them is appleby. appleby is one of the most successful off—shore firms in the world. and the america's cup a tt ra cts world. and the america's cup attracts the sort of wealthy clients it works with. new zealand have won,
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i think. while we are in bermuda, we have to keep our investigations secret. we're here because almost seven million documents have been leaked from appleby. we can now see what they and their clients do. you have to be very careful at this stage of the investigation. because appleby don't know that we have their data. appleby‘s documents were obtained by
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the german newspaper, they've been shared with the international consortium of investigative journalists, including panorama and the guardian newspaper. the revelations from the paradise papers have already sent shock waves around the world. we've revealed the queen's off—shore investments. how a former tory treasurer could face a tax bill of tens of millions after ignoring financial rules. and the questions for the premier league about the billionaire and his links to two of britain's biggest clubs. but there is much more in the documents. tonight, we uncover some
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of the secrets of britain's off—shore empire. this is the isle of man, we're here to investigate a multimillion pound tax dodge that attracts the rich and famous from around the world am —— world. the isle of man is a crown dependency, the uk government is ultimately responsible, but this island can provide a special service. this is the place to come if you want to dodge tax on your luxury jet. all these different tax havens in the world, they carve out a niche for themselves. there's so
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many things they can specialise in. being thejurisdiction many things they can specialise in. being the jurisdiction of choice to register a jet. to register a yacht oi’ register a jet. to register a yacht orfamily business. register a jet. to register a yacht or family business. that's register a jet. to register a yacht orfamily business. that's how they're competing. orfamily business. that's how they‘ re competing. it's orfamily business. that's how they're competing. it's part of what makes off shore so complicated. there are almost a thousand private jets registered here. when you or i buy most goods, we have to pay 20% vat. but here on the isle of man, they're going out of their way to help the super rich dodge that tax on their luxury planes. take four times world champion lewis hamilton. in 2013, he made a dream purchase. this is your plane. if i get a plane i'm going to pimp it out. paint it red, yeah. exactly. it was handy for
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hisjet set red, yeah. exactly. it was handy for his jet set life style and obviously to visit his then girlfriend, pop star nicole scherzinger. he's the best in the world, so i trust him. it cost £16 million. that meant a 3. £3.3 million vat bill. and that's where the isle of man comes in. this is how the tax dodge worked. the jet is how the tax dodge worked. the jet is owned by lewis hamilton's company in the caribbean. it leases the jet toa in the caribbean. it leases the jet to a new company, owned by lewis hamilton in the isle of man. so that's lewis hamilton renting his own jet to himself. that's lewis hamilton renting his ownjet to himself. then it's that's lewis hamilton renting his own jet to himself. then it's leased ita own jet to himself. then it's leased it a leasing company, he doesn't
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own, that provides a crew and maintenance. they then lease it back to mr hamilton, that's him renting his ownjet to mr hamilton, that's him renting his own jet back. hey presto, a 3. £3.3 million vat refund. it's the artificiality of the scheme that should raise suspicions. from the moment that you see the artificiality of it, you should ask questions about what is the motivation in this particular case. questions would be raised on whether this is indeed a proper business for vat purposes, in which case refund should not have been granted. lewis hamilton's lawyers told us he had a set of professionals in place who run most aspects of his business operations. and they said, isle of
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man customs gave informed approval to the scheme. but we don't think that his deal complies with eu and uk tax rules. it's because of the personal use. to get his tax dodge, lewis hamilton had to fly his jet here to the isle of man just once. he came here in 2012, with his then girlfriend. our documents show that customs and excise here were happy to come in at 6am to sign off on the vat deal. lewis hamilton's lawyers told us the structures were not unlawful and do not constitute abusive practice. the vat rules about the business use ofjets are
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incredibly complicated. but if you use your plane for fun, you have to pay vat. i can't believe i have my own plane still, after all these yea rs. own plane still, after all these years. well, look at this post - lewis hamilton is quite open that hisjet is being used forfun. now even though it's mostly used for business, he shouldn't have got a full refund. if they're using it for private purposes, the fact that all this money is being refunded is quite shocking. you should not be getting vat back if it's private usage and you're getting vat back. we have found 50 schemes like lewis hamilton's in the documents. we've
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seen millions being handed out in vat refunds to oligarchs and sports stars, who are clearly going to use theirjets for stars, who are clearly going to use their jets for private stars, who are clearly going to use theirjets for private use. how on earth can that possibly be allowed to happen? we only accept cases for the refund of vat on jets if it's for 100% business use. we have the refund of vat on jets if it's for 10096 business use. we have seen cases where it's clearly going to be used privately. i look forward to you providing me with that evidence. well, here's the evidence. our documents show isle of man customs knew that jets were documents show isle of man customs knew thatjets were being used for personal use. and customs have since confirmed, as long as it was predominantly business use, they gave refunds any way. we've discovered that appleby‘s office on the isle of man has imported luxury jets worth 1. £1.25 billion, so some
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of the wealthiest people on the planet have avoided a small fortune in tax. in total, the isle of man has handed out more than £790 million in vat refunds to jet leasing companies. as a result of panorama's investigation, it's now called in the british government to review its procedures. they're approved on the isle of man. vat rules and regulations on corporate jets are highly complex. i genuinely feel that you have missed the point. we are concerned about your allegations, so we've said right, what's the best thing to do to show we have nothing to hide, we're an honest and transparent jurisdiction — let's ask hm treasury will they come in, review, assess i should
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say, our practice of importation of business jets into the say, our practice of importation of businessjets into the eu say, our practice of importation of business jets into the eu via the isle of man and let's see what they've got to say. the british government declined to be interviewed for this programme. but one of the revelations of the paradise papers is the role this country plays in an industry that hides hundreds of billions off shore. appleby has offices in tax havens around the world. most have links to britain. the uk has a kind of network of tax havens around the world that are partly british, like the overseas territories, cayman islands and so on, and the crown dependencies. you could say this is like a second financial empire, second empire of britain. these
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places are effectivelyjurisdictions for sale. they will do what it ta kes. the isle of man became a tax haven in the 19805 when farming and tourism declined. it does not seem ethical to my mind and it does not seem ethical to my mind and it does not seem healthy and sustainable in the long rant and it will nibble away at the island's reputation. a third of the island's reputation. a third of the island's reputation. a third of the island's economy is financial services. you can the island's economy is financial services. you can see the island's economy is financial services. you can see that around as there are signs for hsbc and ba rclay5 bank there are signs for hsbc and barclays bank down there. athol street here, you have got appleby, a big legalfirm, a big player. and very close to all this
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geographically and hand in glove with the offshore finance industry is the government here. this close relationship is what tax havens offer. they can influence the politicians, and very often they will just write the politicians, and very often they willjust write the laws at themselves and presented to these tax havens and say, please, put this in your legislation, which is profoundly dangerous for other countries that are affected by this. and there is an example in the paradise papers of how unhealthy this relationship can be. we have found evidence that shows just how far the isle of man government has been prepared to go to help tax dodgers. it is all about a law that was aimed at stopping tax evaders. the most serious tax dodgers who
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break the law. the european savings directive meant if you had your money in a bag anywhere in europe it would be taxed. the european savings directive was intended to put a stop to some forms of cross—border tax evasion. in our documents there is a scheme designed to undermine that plan and that would help people evading tax. but for it to work, the isle of man's laws had to be changed. the scheme needed approval by the isle of man regulator. you might think getting approval for something that could help tax evaders would prove difficult, but not on the isle of man. we have got
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a letter from the lawyers to the regulator, whose job is a letter from the lawyers to the regulator, whosejob is to make sure the rules are followed. just listen to the language. if you believe it would be helpful for us to the language. if you believe it would be helpfulfor us to provide you with ideas as to how to amend the regulations in order to more readily accord with our client's proposal, please let simon or myself know. it sounds like they are saying if you want help drafting this new law that could assist tax evaders, we will do it for you. the regulator does draft a new law and asks for the opinions of the lawyers. let me show you this e—mail. i would be particularly interested in any comments that you and or simon have in this regard. i have heard about these things happening, i have never seen these things happening, i have never seen at this level of detail the transaction, the handoff that goes on, where the wealth manager or the
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representative said, we want you to do this with the law, and the public official says right, done, do this with the law, and the public officialsays right, done, here do this with the law, and the public official says right, done, here it is. in switzerland we found the man who drew up the scheme. now, he agreed to talk to us, but he does not know we have seen his plan. i wa nt to not know we have seen his plan. i want to show you something. this is a very clever scheme to avoid the european savings directive. i think you drew this up. would you talk us through this? this was many years ago, it must have been about ten yea rs ago, it must have been about ten years ago. this looks like a plan designed to help people if they'd tax, is that right? it is either to evade tax or keep privacy. it is the isle of man changing their own laws
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so isle of man changing their own laws so this scheme to help tax evaders can work, isn't it? iwould so this scheme to help tax evaders can work, isn't it? i would agree, yes. that is amazing to me. what should our viewers make of you drawing up schemes to help people break the law? well, every tax adviser, they stick within the law. this was not illegal. to be crystal clear, the regulator would have been well aware that by changing the law it would encourage schemes that allow people to skip est and evade tax? yes. we are not talking about some distant country. the isle of man is part of the british isles. this is where that law was changed. here it is, the new law. it will
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help tax evaders, it is approved by the isle of man parliament. so what would the chief minister say about the regulator who helped change the law? i do not believe it has happened, but if it has, we will investigate. it happened on this island. let's look at the evidence so island. let's look at the evidence so far. if it happened, i would be disappointed. given the opportunity to look at the evidence, let my team go away, investigate and we will ta ke go away, investigate and we will take action if it is proven. will you apologise if the law was changed here to help tax avoidance? you apologise if the law was changed here to help tax avoidance ?m you apologise if the law was changed here to help tax avoidance? if it is what you are stating, yes, i will apologise on behalf of the isle of man government because we are risk bonds will tax jurisdiction and we do not condone anything like that. the regulator who got the law changed will not answer our
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questions, so i went to pay david la ke questions, so i went to pay david lake mbe visit. hello, i am richard bilton from the bbc. can i ask you a question? did you change the law to help tax dodgers? that is a comment to the financial services authority ‘s. to the financial services authority 's. you should help us, you changed the law. i have got nothing to say. i told your colleague to contact the financial services authority. what you say to our viewers who pay their tax? no comment, the responsibility was transferred to the financial services authority, contact them. i have got nothing to say. the last word to our viewers. contact the fsa. i wonder what they will make of that. thank you. that is a man who helped to change the law so people could dodge tax. now i put the
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questions to him and he does not wa nt to questions to him and he does not want to answer. not all tax dodgers break the law, but the files show the outrageous way some wealthy brits abuse offshore to hide their riches. we have found a home network of astonishing tax dodgers. they are run bya of astonishing tax dodgers. they are run by a tax lawyer, james o'toole. he actually owns this holiday cottage and we are going to stay here and use it as a base as we investigate his tax dodging empire. but he has got more than just a cottage here. tax dodging can be a
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lucrative game. around the back of his cottage all of this over here, this is all mr o'toole's as well. this is mr o'toole's would. this is his field. this is mr o'toole's walled garden. this is mr o'toole's orchard. this is mr o'toole's house. his estate manager said we could not look around because mr o'toole is not here. he has got another property in the seychelles. that is quite a property in the seychelles. that is quitea grand property in the seychelles. that is quite a grand room. he likes luxury.
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there have been two aston martins, a range rover, a harley davidson and a rolex watch. so, how does mr o'toole had all this stuff? well, it is to do with offshore. james o'toole may have spent millions on his house, he may have driven around in the luxury ca rs may have driven around in the luxury cars and warned the elegant, expensive jewellery, but as far as the uk taxman is concerned, he does not own any of it. this is how it works. mr o'toole gives his fortune away, it goes into an offshore company. he does not have to pay tax any more because it is officially no longer his money. but he is then appointed to advise on how the money should be spent. and he can carry on
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enjoying their houses, the aston martins, the range rover, the harley. he even gets a personal shopper to pick up birthday cards, bya shopper to pick up birthday cards, by a blender, book a spa, buy shoes, pay for his limousine and suggest mother's day presents. pay for his limousine and suggest mother's day presentslj pay for his limousine and suggest mother's day presents. i think hmrc would take a pretty dim view because he distressing up his affairs as something they are not and he is a tax expert. so he should know a lot better. i think he must know that it would not withstand scrutiny. james o'toole's lawyer said our allegations are illjudged and not supported by any relevant evidence. and that mr o'toole had prepared a
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detailed and rigorous rebuttal, but is not in a position to engage with our programme. mr o'toole does not just dodge his own taxes. he runs companies that help other wealthy brits do it as well. there are over 100 of them in our documents. hello and welcome, you are watching your first life coaching television channel. meet this actor, model and life coach. with the right mental attitude and discipline everything is possible. she has applied that philosophy to the tax laws. she has almost a million stashed in her company in mauritius. she gets cash
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back to the uk by borrowing it from herself. i wish you to live the life that brings millions and love to you and people around you. but the evidence in the files shows these we re evidence in the files shows these were not normal loans. she was not paying interest or the loans back. it isa paying interest or the loans back. it is a tax dodge. in most countries, certainly in the uk, you area countries, certainly in the uk, you are a tax on income and when you borrow money that is an income. if i borrow money that is an income. if i borrow £10 for new, i would not have to put £10 income on my tax return. where it is a pretence, a sham, as it appears to be in these cases, it does not work. it is your income and you should still be taxed on it. time to catch up with the life
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coach. my name is richard bilton and i work for bbc panorama. i am interested in borrowing some money but i do not want to pay it back, can you help? you can't? hello? she has gone. she has gone. she later told as she always acted on professional advice and said the loa ns were professional advice and said the loans were repayable. she said, to the best of my knowledge i have never had money or assets in an offshore structure. so, what is this? we found a letter advising her on the creation of an offshore structure in mauritius. it is a tax avoidance scheme and her signature is at the bottom. our next james
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o'toole client makes his money from cold calls and direct marketing. o'toole client makes his money from cold calls and direct marketinglj am the founder and managing director of gcl direct. we think he has been sending his money offshore. offshore tax avoidance schemes? when i called him mr crowder denied dodging any tax. so, what is this? a tax dodging loan of £150,000 with his name on it. he and his wife went to fancy resource as well, paid for with the secret, not taxed cash, all listed as investments trips. a
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fortnight in barbados in 2014, listed as investments trips. a fortnight in barbados in 20111,a fortnight in barbados in 2014, a week in florida at christmas, in april back to barbados, and again in october. and last year stjohn has for the weekend by private jet. —— central pay. we have been in this village or afternoon trying to find mr crowder and it got dark and we we re mr crowder and it got dark and we were going to go and we saw him in the pub. he was quick to get away. you said you did not know anything about offshore and that was not true, was it? tell us your side because you had £1 million in an offshore bank account. you have had a pint, tell us your side of the story. were you dodging tax? hey! mr crowder‘s lawyers later told us he
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is reliant on reputable, professional advisers. they said, our story had a number of factual inaccuracies, but because he was not a tax expert he was not able to comment further. if you want to hide your tax, you do not have to choose mauritius or the isle of man. there are british tax havens all around the world. they are self—governing but ultimately we in the uk have control. take bermuda, where appleby started. it likes to present itself as the
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a cce pta ble likes to present itself as the acceptable face of offshore. this is acceptable face of offshore. this is a place that attracts people because of its civilised nature, it is respectable, it has close links to the uk. it is a british overseas territory, the queen is the head of state. before they knew about the league, the government told us bermuda was clean. we are regulated very well and it has been recognised internationally. one of the big difference that differentiates bermuda to other countries like yours is we just do not accept anybody to do business in bermuda. so we screen people and if you do not pass the criteria, then we say, you can go somewhere not pass the criteria, then we say, you can go somewhere else because you can go somewhere else because you are not coming here. but the
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documents showed the regulation often fails. look at this presentation for appleby staff. it says there is systemic noncompliance, which means rules are being broken. no risk assessment, which means dodgy cases might be getting through. appleby told us it takes compliance very seriously. the fact that wea knesses we re very seriously. the fact that weaknesses were found, candidly reported, addressed and improved upon reflects the importance we attach to this area. for confidentiality reasons they say they can't comment on clients. they say appleby does not specialise in tax and would play no role in advising on the tax advantages or
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disadvantages of any particular structure. there are dozens of companies like appleby in bermuda, all helping wealthy people and companies avoid tax. and this is just one island. worldwide, the tax losses are enormous. it's making the rich richer while the poor get poorer. every time they close a school in your neighbourhood, every time they shut down a bus line, every time they have to close a hospital, a lot of that happens because rich individuals and corporations are not paying their fairshare of corporations are not paying their fair share of the costs of society. how much money is being lost to the taxpayer? we're talking billions. worldwide estimates range quite widely, we're talking 300 to $600
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billion a year lost to tax authorities around the world to the benefit of multinational corporations. no wonder in bermuda they don't like being called a tax haven. the problem with a tax haven is somebody else — haven. the problem with a tax haven is somebody else - excuse me. i'm not accusing you, sir. be careful. oxfa m not accusing you, sir. be careful. oxfam said you were the number one tax haven in the world. oxfam are wrong. why? a tax haven is a place that a, hides money, doesn't cooperate with otherjurisdictions and enables basically financial crime, terrorist financing and those sorts of things. you have a non—transparent system. sorts of things. you have a non-transparent system. we do not have a non—transparent system. non-transparent system. we do not have a non—transparent systemlj can't see it. well, you don't count. transparency, for it to be transparent, it means everybody can look through it. no, it does not. it isn't just british
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look through it. no, it does not. it isn'tjust british tax havens helping tax dodgers. britain is doing it too. we are the hub of the tax dodging empire. here in germany, they're losing tax revenue because of what we're doing. a tax rule, introduced in 2013, allowed big companies to use the uk to avoid tax. take this hotel chain, couldn't be more german. but its finances are arranged through the isle of man and in doing that, they save millions in taxes. this is how
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it works: the hotels were taken over bya uk it works: the hotels were taken over by a uk company. it boar rows a large sum of cash and has to pay interest. so profits in the uk go down, which means less tax for us. the cash is invested in an isle of man company, which then lends it to the german hotel chain. they also pay interest, so their profits go down as well. that's less tax in germany too. the german profits end up germany too. the german profits end up in the isle of man, no tax. in the past, this wouldn't have worked. the uk used to tax these kind of tax schemes at full rate. not any more. under the new rules,
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it's now just not any more. under the new rules, it's nowjust 4%. not any more. under the new rules, it's nowjust 496. while the government says it's against tax avoidance and shifting profits around, when you look into the detail of the rules, you find that there are opportunities for multinational companies to do exactly that. the travel company holiday break said their business affairs are conducted within the tax regulations and disclosure requirements of the countries we operate in. but the european union has just started an investigation into the uk's tax rules, introduced by the coalition government. the reality is that they were constantly introducing new rules to make britain a tax haven of the world.
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this was a deliberate change brought in by the government to help global companies do nothing other than avoid paying theirfair share of tax. the government said today new transparency laws were being introduced and all the british territories have signed up. this government believes in a fair tax system where everyone plays by the rules. it is this government that has taken decisive action to tackle tax avoidance and evasion and who improve the standards of international tax transparency. welcome to cannes in the south of france. it's the royal regatta. a chance to sail a classic yacht or
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just enjoy the spectacle. this yacht is the leonore. it's the play thing of brits harriet logan and mark faulkner. here's mark celebrating victory in a race four years ago. mark and harriet have full use of this luxury yacht but they don't officially own it. it's how they live their lives. they have all the trappings of wealth, but they don't officially own them. sound familiar? that's because they've signed up to one of james o'toole's tax dodging schemes. mark and harriet gave their fortune away. it goes it a company in mauritius. but they were then
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appointed advisors on how the money should be spent. they advise the company to buy them a country mansion, two properties in london and an aston martin. the off—shore company even spent £100,000 a year funding mark and harriet‘s yacht, so they could enjoy racing at regattas around the world, like this one. ? mark and harriet also have a home in cannes. is mr falconer in? no, we rent the house. you rent it, do you know where he is? england, i think. i guess. you're the crew of the boat, aren't you? no, we use the boat, aren't you? no, we use the boat but we don't... it's a private... team. private team.
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what's mr falconer‘s relationship with the boat? i don't know, why, excuse me? i'm a reporter, but he's sometimes on the boat, isn't he? no, no. i've seen pictures of him on the boat. i don't know. with you, in fa ct. boat. i don't know. with you, in fact. yes, but he's not with us. he's not with you. ok, sir. i've seen he's not with you. ok, sir. i've seen that gentleman in some of the pictures celebrating with mr falconer. i know that they have sailed together. what he has told me is that they've rented this house from an agency and that mr falconer is not here, and that he's in england. when you get to this level of tax avoidance, then you're getting to the point where everybody else is subsidising your luxury lifestyle. as you' re else is subsidising your luxury lifestyle. as you're cruising on your yacht, there's somebody whose benefits have been cut who's paying for that. i suspect they know that. but when i reach mark on the phone,
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he denies everything. i understand you use an offshore structure to avoid tax, is that right? due put money into a mauritius company to avoid tax? oh. that'sjust money into a mauritius company to avoid tax? oh. that's just not true then. but the documents show it is. here harriet suggests the company spend £2 million for her collection of iconic photographs and art. and up of iconic photographs and art. and up to £200,000 for fine and rare wines. so this is one couple and they say, we want iconic photographs and art worth 2 million... it's staggering! 200 grand for a classic car. we'd like a collection of rare wines, which they say they may have
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to sample. this is unevasive. it's clear avoidance at the very least. to have such an interest in what the trust is doing to the extent that you live in the home, that you drink the wine and choose the pictures, this is not someone having — this is someone this is not someone having — this is someone having very, very personal benefit from it and it looks like a straightforward vehicle to avoid having to say that you own those properties. how they're getting away with it, i don't know. they got away with it, i don't know. they got away with it, i don't know. they got away with it because until the paradise papers, nobody knew. the couple's lawyers told us that while they did not accept our assertions they have commenced dialogue with hmrc to review the arrangements that their previous advisors had recommended. it's not just wealthy
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it's notjust wealthy individuals. we've looked at one of the great tax avoidance mysteries, what the world's most profitable company did when its infamous multibillion tax dodge was shut down. we know what happened next. for years, apple has opted to forgo fully contributing to the us treasury and to american society by shifting profits and circumventing us taxes. it's already known that apple has an incredible $252 billion stashed off shore, much of it completely untaxed. we pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar. we not only comply with the
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laws, but we comply with the spirit of the laws. for years, apple took advantage of a special deal offered by the irish government. they were allowed to set up companies that, apart from a small amount in ireland, didn't have to pay tax anywhere else in the world. it was a good dealforran anywhere else in the world. it was a good deal forran companile. anywhere else in the world. it was a good dealforran companile. —— for apple. apple makes huge profits, more than $241 billion outside the us injust11 years. the irish deal meant that apple could avoid almost all the tax. in fact, they paid less than 5% tax on profits outside of america. but in 2014, ireland was pressured into changing the rules,
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so pressured into changing the rules, so apple started shopping around. the documents showed the cynical way apple searched for a tax dodging deal. the key concern seems to be that they will not pay tax in their new home. it asks the tax haven to confirm that they can conduct management activities without being subject to taxation. and they ask is it possible to obtain an official assurance of tax exemption? some of the questions are shocking. this one is for the isle of man and they ask appleby, is there a credible opposition party or movement that would replace the current government. appleby say no. i am not
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sure what the people of the isle of man would make of that summary. but this was apple trying to find the safest tax haven for the hundreds and millions of dollars that they had stashed offshore. this is shopping around for the best deal they can get in tax havens. it is a bit like someone looking for a venue for a wedding. they have got certain questions they want answered. what jumps out at you? the isle of man a nswe rs jumps out at you? the isle of man answers the question whether there isa answers the question whether there is a credible opposition party and says, no. it seems quite proud of that. it is saying, do not worry, there is no democracy here. political parties do exist, but their influence is nominal. that is very reassuring. in the end apple
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chose another tax haven in the british isles. jersey. and we have discovered that two of the companies involved in apple's irish tax scheme we re involved in apple's irish tax scheme were moved here for tax purposes. we believe they are both managed from this appleby office, which means they both pay the jersey rate of tax on profits and that is no tax at all. it is completely secret, but very important for taxpayers around the world. billions may be at stake. hello, ijust the world. billions may be at stake. hello, i just want to talk to somebody who looks after the appleby company. i want some answers about this crucial account. apple
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operations international and apple sales international are both based here? the appleby organisation is based here. no, the apple company. appleby have got nothing to do with that. they have got two companies based here? i would have to check that out. he is going to clarify. it ta kes a that out. he is going to clarify. it takes a while. he goes away for 15 minutes. i am speaking on behalf of of appleby and we had no knowledge of appleby and we had no knowledge of appleby and we had no knowledge of apple in this building. apple sales international and apple operations international, you cannot find anybody in the office who knows about that? from an appleby perspective, yes. the answer is we do not know? from an appleby perspective, we have no knowledge of
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that. thank you very much indeed, thank you for your patience. goodbye. so, after quite a long delay and wake the message came back we do not know about those companies, we cannot find anybody in the office who knows about apple sales international or apple operations international. it is so secret that even the people in the office do not know about it. that is what he is saying. but our documents showed the two apple companies were administered from these offices until last year. now, apple declined to a nswer until last year. now, apple declined to answer our questions but said as the largest taxpayer in the world we have paid over $35 billion in corporate income taxes over the past three years. they add, the changes we made did not reduce our tax
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payments in any country. this year, apple paid tax ofjust 3.7% on its non—us profits. that is less than the sake of the average corporation tax rate. you can see them as this fa ntastically tax rate. you can see them as this fantastically innovative it company, but you can also see them as a fa ntastically but you can also see them as a fantastically innovative tax dodger. they seem to be leading the world and they have come up with the latest tax dodging product. back at my holiday home it is time to put my feet up and relax. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to mrs brown's boys. mrs brown's boys is one of the most popular shows on the bbc. it is made by the production
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company owned by the programme's star, brendan o'carroll. do you want a cup of tea? yes, please, what is art? but we have discovered some of the actors are stashing their fees or wages offshore. they include patrick houlihan who plays mrs brown's son, dermot. you could have stayed in bed a bit longer. and brendan o'carroll‘s real—life daughter, fiona delany. and her husband, martin delany. it is one of james o'toole's tax dodgers. this is how it works. the actors get their
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wages sent offshore, tax—free. the cash ends up in a company in mauritius and the actors are recruited as investment managers. they advise that the money is loaned straight to their personal bank accounts, no tax. take fiona delany, injust accounts, no tax. take fiona delany, in just 16 accounts, no tax. take fiona delany, injust 16 months her accounts, no tax. take fiona delany, in just 16 months her mauritian company lent her over £360,000. it is just the way of disguising her income. ijust wondered how pure wages ever been paid offshore? i wa nt to wages ever been paid offshore? i want to know did your wages go to a company in mauritius and then you got the cash back in loans? is that right as i understand it? oh, so
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fiona talked for a while and said that she did not think she did have any offshore deals. when i gave her any offshore deals. when i gave her a few more details she ran off. we found that three actors from a famous bbc tv show sent their wages offshore and then they learn that money back to themselves in order to pay no income tax. i am shocked by that because that is not playing by anyfair that because that is not playing by any fair rules. do they pay the loan back? the evidence is that they do not. that is a dodge. are you surprised it still goes on?|j not. that is a dodge. are you surprised it still goes on? i am shocked how they have not been caught yet. maybe after this programme they will be. fiona delany has not responded to our e—mails. so i have come to bbc scotland where
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they are filming mrs brown's boys. hello, fiona, it is richard bilton from panorama. can i grab a quick word with you? i called you a few weeks ago. you get paid in mauritius, don't you? what is that about? do you pay the loan back? is ita about? do you pay the loan back? is it a tax dodge? i do not know who you are. i am from panorama and you are from mrs brown's boys and you are from mrs brown's boys and you area are from mrs brown's boys and you are a tax dodger. that is not funny at all, is it? but what about the show‘s star, brendan o'carroll? at all, is it? but what about the show's star, brendan o'carroll? you do not want panorama for company. he told us he pays the actors were a company in the uk and cannot control what happens afterwards and has never been involved with any tax avoiding scheme. brendan o'carroll said, i reserve the right to take
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the most severe legal action available to me. that is lawyer speak. i would have available to me. that is lawyer speak. iwould havejust available to me. that is lawyer speak. i would have just said (bleep) off. the paradise papers have revealed the secrets of britain's tax dodging empire. it is bad for the reputation of the commonwealth and the uk. we have got to see a clamp—down to stop these loopholes and to stop these jurisdictions doing what they are doing. how we help big companies and the super—rich avoid paying their fair share. i think most people would think there is something wrong here. they are paying higher taxes asa here. they are paying higher taxes as a result of these people paying lower taxes and these people are all
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incredibly wealthy. the documents have pulled back the curtain on the offshore world and those who use it. i guess at some level everyone wants to be able to do as they please and not have anybody be their boss, including the state. what offshore provides is a place where you can do that. britain's offshore empire is a place where the rich and powerful save money at our expense. now that shady world has been dragged into the light. it is hard to imagine it will not be forced to change. tonight at 10: the latest revelations from leaked tax documents known as the paradise papers. the technology giant apple has been managing billions of pounds offshore
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