Carr: Tax Avoidance Was Terrible Error
Comedian Jimmy Carr has issued a statement apologising for his "terrible error of judgement" in using a tax avoidance scheme.
Earlier this week, it emerged Carr had been using an aggressive, legal scheme which enables members to pay income tax rates as low as 1%.
The comic, who has famously lampooned fat cat bankers, was reportedly protecting some £3.3m a year by channelling cash through Jersey-based company K2.
But, in the statement, Carr said he was "no longer involved" in the scheme and added that he "will in future conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly".
He said: "I appreciate as a comedian, people will expect me to 'make light' of this situation, but I'm not going to in this statement as this is obviously a serious matter.
"I met with a financial advisor and he said to me, 'Do you want to pay less tax? It's totally legal.'
"I said, 'Yes.'
"I now realise I've made a terrible error of judgement. Apologies to everyone."
He spoke out after Prime Minister David Cameron branded his tax dodging "morally wrong".
Mr Cameron, speaking on Wednesday night during a visit to Mexico, joined a chorus of criticism of the comedian, whose tax arrangements were revealed in The Times on Tuesday.
Describing them as "straightforward tax avoidance", the PM said it was unfair on the people who pay to watch the comic perform that he is not paying his taxes in the same way they do.
Mr Cameron said: "I think some of these schemes - and I think particularly of the Jimmy Carr scheme - I have had time to read about and I just think this is completely wrong.
"People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes.
"That is wrong. There is nothing wrong with people planning their tax affairs to invest in their pension and plan for their retirement - that sort of tax management is fine.
"But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong."
Carr is said to be one of more than 1,000 beneficiaries who shelter some £168m from the taxman each year using K2. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the K2 scheme was already under investigation.
It has also been alleged Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Take That manager Jonathan Wild had invested at least £26m in a scheme run by Icebreaker Management Services.
Meanwhile, Downing Street has indicated Mr Cameron and senior ministers are not planning to disclose their tax returns in the "very near future".
The Prime Minister said in April he expected information about his finances to become public, and was relaxed about the prospect.
But a Number 10 aide said that the proposal is still being "looked into".
what do you think?
Oh, he's sorry.......that makes everything ok then? Most probably sorry he got found out!
dont be a muppet,its a legal scheme and anyone government ministers ,advisors etc and lots of camerons millionaire friends will be cursing him because they are using such "legal" schemes
Why pick on Alan Carr most people if given the chance would go the same route. Thats not say I am happy he went that route but what about the Bankers, MP's, fat public/private CEO's, Pop Stars and Footballers all tarred with the same brush. Whats required is the Government and Inland Revenue get tough with all walks of life and everybody is to pay full UK Tax if residing in the UK. Its us poor Pensioners and PAYE employed that fund this peoples NHS, State Pensions etc
Alan Carr ? Dont you mean Jimmy Carr ?
So paying tax is very popular now - maybe there'll be TV programs of "Tax in the attic", "X-factor pay more tax", "Paying tax on ice".
So Cameron has spoke out and shamed Jimmy Carr out of avoiding tax on £3.3 million per year. Why hasn't he done the same with Philip Green and his £1.2 billion per year tax avoidance? Because he's an hypocrite! By going after soft targets who have no influence in the political arena he thinks he's fooling the public into believing he's tackling tax avoidance. Cameron has nothing but contempt for the working and middle classes and will never go after the big fish whose pocket he's in.
good luck to him,cameron had opened a can or worms for himself now with his high powered mutil millionaire friends who are all using such schemes,which are legal.if i was earning that sort of cash or you were we,d have people advising us this is what you need to do
Cameron seems happy for his friends to use these schemes but as soon as someone from a working or middle class background breaks rank he's on them like a tonne of bricks!
Funny how Dave and his chums are reluctant to criticise their fat cat chums in the City, but jump right in to give a comedian a good kicking. That's the way chaps, take the tiny little minds of the sheeple off the tax dodging fat cats, get them all punching down, not up, sadly, it works everytime.
You have green eyes John dear..... you sound jealous to me, This is a totally legal scheme
Jealous? Louise, how do you arrive at that conclusion? I have nothing but contempt for your fat city friends darling.
Jimmy Carr is only one of the rats in the granary and compared to some is only minor. the whole taxation system in this country is geared in favour of the wealthy those with million + incomes they can afford the services of taxation avoidance experts.and who are these experts? Ex employees of the inland revenue who have been lured away by big business to advise on legally fiddling the system which is in itself is rotten to the core. In this country only those in the lower tax bracket pay the full amount. Ex expenses cheat Cameron has spoken out many times against such injustices in the system bankers almost tax free bonus etc.but does absolutely nothing. Until he does so the burden will fall on the least able to pay.
how much more are people going to take of this hypocrite cameron. he,s sat back as his fat cat friends have not only used every trick in the book do avoid paying tax. he,s watched as they have stolen tax payers money by putting in claims for anything and everything they could possibly get away with as well as a lot they shouldnt and couldnt. now he has the audacity to call people wha actually work hard for their money morrally wrong because they wont cough up vast chunks of it so him and his chums can waste it on overseas aid to countries that shouldnt be given it. banks who obviously dont know what to do with it and last but not least countries in the EU. who can blame these people for not wanting to see their money wasted by this incompatent bunch of charlatans
I am in my eighties and therefore get the enhanced tax relief for married couples (soon to be abolished). Therefore I have paid no income tax for several years. But when my wife died HMRC were on to me very quickly. They couldn't touch my state pension but I now have to pay 20% on three very small pensions and, of course, on interest on my savings accounts. I estimate that HMRC make about £50 a year from me. It must cost them much more to collect it. The tax system has been a mess for years because the rich can avoid it by using accountants; the poor can't. It's time that Parliament revised it and left the NHS and schools alone.
Alot of 'Cameron' bashing going on here! But just remember this is nothing new, these schemes originate from under 'previous' administrations. A couple of previous 'PM's' had lots of friends in high places - union bosses, bankers etc, the sort of people who take a million or more per year. MP's and ministers all take their money as salary and therefore PAYE? 'Expenses' excluded? There will always be schemes for people who take a 'remuneration'.
The words pot, kettle and black come to mind ...... what about all the senior civil servants having their wages paid to companies, and the vast amount of expense fiddling by commons and lords alike!
I can't see the problem, sorry. If you can reduce your tax bill legally, what's the hype? Doesn't everyone want to do that. You can't blame Jimmy Carr for that. The problem is with the loopholes in the system. This comes down to changing laws. The law takes so long to change, it's no surprise MPs get fed up of trying to sort it out. It's the legal system that wants a kick.
So he's sorry does that mean he's going to pay the back taxes that he should have paid?
He has done nothing illegal... so there is NO tax to pay back!
I'm less concerned with Mr Carr's tax avoidance tricks than with his ability to make people laugh. He has to be the most un-funny comic around, the real clowns are at the BBC + ITV who think he is worth £3 million. I
WHAT CAN I SAY PMSL. Honours are meant to be for people who serve Britain and are good citizens. Take That star Gary Barlow's OBE comes just days after he put together the triumphant Diamond Jubilee concert for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. MP calls for Gary Barlow to be stripped of his OBE over links with Take That's '£26m investment in tax shelters'. YES PEPS EVEN HEARD THIS ON NEWS LAST NIGHT THAT INCLUDES TAKE THAT BAND AND MANAGER.. BUT I'M SURE HE WILL PASS THE BUCK ONTO SOMEONE ELSE WAIT AND SEE.
Oh dear, poor old Dave doesn`t get it does he. Is speaking out against a popular comedian a wise thing to do? Particularly using the word `moral`. Look at your own morals Dave. The public aren`t completely stupid y`know.
Gary Barlow's OBE is no problem despite tax avoidance claims, says Downing Street. HE SHOULD BE STRIPPED OF THE OBE. IF THIS WAS JUST A MEMBER OF THE JOE PUBLIC THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED CHARGED FOR FRAUD TAX ADVOIDENCE FINED AND POSSIBLY JAILED. BUT NO NO NO.... ONE RULE FOR THE RICH AND ANOTHER FOR THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP THIS COUNTRY FINANCED BY PAYING THERE TAXES IN FULL.
The sooner this tax loophole is closed the better! It's time to make Jimmy pay his fair share and take away Gary Barlows recent honour for tax dodging. (He's not of the right calibre of person to have received one in the first place!) The idea that someone earning millions should get away with only paying 1% income tax is outrageous... The Prime Minister is right, it's "Morally Wrong"!
Jimmy Carr is the least funny entertainer on TV, why do they pay him anything?