Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton to avoid tax on his Â£16.5 m jet luxury, according to the Paradise Papers of documents.
They show a Â£3.3 m VAT refund is given after the Bombardier Challenger 605 was imported to the Isle of Man in 2013.
It seems like a lease agreement by the consultants was artificial and does not comply with the EU and the uk prohibition of rebates for private use, despite the fact that he may have the right one for the business.
Hamilton lawyers say that a tax attorney review found that the legal structure.
He added that it was not correct to say that no VAT had been paid on any of the arrangements.
At 06:15, 21 January 2013, Hamilton landed in Ronaldsway airport in the Isle of Man, in his new private jet with his then pop star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger to finalize the paperwork with the customs.
While Hamilton’s planned use of the jet was mainly for business purposes, the BBC’s Panorama programme has seen documents that suggest the 32-year F1 Mercedes driver intended to make private flights around a third of the time.
Hamilton social media accounts provide evidence that he has used the candy apple red Challenger for the holidays and the rest of the staff travel from all over the world.
He has published a series of photographs of himself in the plane on Instagram, one of them showing his bulldogs Roscoe and Coco of the board.
Just a kid from the uk that had a dream. #YouCanDoItToo #NeverGiveUp #TeamLH #MegaJet #RoadtoAbuDhabi #AbuDhabiGP
A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on Nov 18, 2014 at 4:37am PST
Final Instagram post by lewishamilton
“If a private jet is disguised as the business use of the jet, then what you essentially have is a scheme of tax evasion”, says Rita De La Feria, professor of tax law at the University of Leeds.
“You’re using it for their own private interests, are going on holiday, meeting friends. It is assumed that you have to pay tax on the private consumption.”End customer
Private Jets acquired outside the EU are subject to 20% VAT on importation in order to qualify for free movement within the block.
While the Isle of Man is not part of the EU, is a Dependency of the British Crown and form a common area with the uk for VAT purposes. Because of this link, an aircraft imported via the island has full access to the EU.
To try to give back to the EU and the uk legislation that prohibits the refund of VAT on aircraft used by individuals, Hamilton advisors formed a VAT, leasing operations in the Isle of Man, the documents filtered out by the costa law firm Appleby suggest.
The new company, Stealth (IOM) Limited, leased the jet from Hamilton British Virgin Islands company, the Stealth Aviation Limited, and the importation into the Isle of Man.
It was then leased to a uk jet management company that provided Hamilton with a crew and other services-and rent back to Hamilton and his Guernsey company, BRV Limited.
Hamilton is described in the documents as the jet of the “end customer”.
Also suggest that he was being kept up to date.
In an e-mail sent ahead of the final signing of the letter of the agreements and the jet of the import in the Isle of Man, an advisor of the states: “I would like to e-mail Lewis to his contract this afternoon and try to get to him on the phone to talk him through it.”
December 2012: Lewis Hamilton of the company in the British Virgin Islands Stealth Aviation Limited pays $26.8 m (Â£16.5 m) to buy the Bombardier Challenger 605 and additions of luxury
December 24, 2012: Hamilton flies his family and Nicole Sherzinger to Hawaii for Christmas in the jet
January 9, 2013: Appleby Isle of Man incorporates a company of Hamilton – Stealth (IOM) Limited
The January 15, 2013: The new company is VAT registered by the Isle of Man customs as a company that is dedicated to “rental and leasing of passenger air transport equipment”
January 17, 2013: Hamilton british virgin islands company rents the plane Stealth (IOM) Limited. Stealth (IOM) Limited leases to a uk jet management company, which agrees to the letter to the driver and his Guernsey company BRV Limited
The January 21, 2013: Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger arriving at the Isle of Man’s Ronaldsway airport. The Â£3.3 m VAT invoice is paid in your name, by an Isle of Man accountancy firm. A customs officer attends out of hours and of the seals of the VAT paid form to be kept on board the jet. The couple fly-off again at 08:10
February 12, 2013: The accounting firm that received a total VAT refund of Â£3.3 m
Lewis Hamilton has amassed an estimated Â£131m fortune, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Forbes reports his earnings and endorsements in 2016 were more than Â£30m.
One of Hamilton’s first trips in the jet was for a 2012 Christmas vacation in Oahu, Hawaii, accompanied by members of his and his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger of the family.
In May 2015, just after competing in Monaco, he flew to Los Angeles. The Daily Mirror reported that he was “having a rest” after the Grand Prix.
The 11 of July of 2017, posted a picture of himself sitting with his friends in his steps.
“To my loving fans, I can’t wait to see that at Silverstone. Until then, I’m on a two day break.”
Speaking to US talk show Jimmy Kimmel in December 2015, Hamilton spoke about the plane and how he decided to “pimp” in the network the color scheme.
“We travel a lot – I love cars and I love the planes,” he said. “Every time I’m in the airport you see these really sad white planes old planes with the saddest stripe to the side”.
Bombardier Challenger 605
The papers are of a large batch of leaked documents on all offshore law firm Appleby, along with the companies of the records in 19 tax jurisdictions, which reveals the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders.
The 13.4 million records were passed on to German daily SÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Panorama has led to the investigation of the BBC as part of a global investigation, which involves nearly 100 media organizations, including the Guardian, in 67 countries. The BBC does not know the identity of the source.
The paradise Papers: Full coverage; follow the reaction on Twitter using #ParadisePapers; in the BBC News application, follow the label of “Paradise Papers”
Watch Panorama on the BBC iPlayer (uk viewers only)