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Adviser boss regrets getting involved in film scheme

Andrew Fisher, chief executive of Towry, an independent financial adviser, regrets investing in a film scheme which is under inquiry by HM Revenue & Customs.

Adviser boss regrets getting involved in film scheme

Andrew Fisher, the chief executive of Towry, the independent financial advisory group, has said he regrets investing in a film scheme after it emerged it was under inquiry by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Fisher (pictured) is among a number of investors named in analysis of the members of 94 film and music schemes conducted by The Times. The paper said he was one of 12 people who invested £57 million in the scheme, which it did not name.

He told The Times: 'If I had known that the legitimacy of this investment was going to be questioned, I would not have entered into it.'

'To date, to the best of my knowledge, I have received no tax rebates or benefits from this investment.'

Towry manages £2.5 billion of assets, and it has been estimated Fisher could net £100 million from a flotation of the national adviser group.

The Times has examined the list of members of 55 schemes run by music rights firm Icebreaker, and 39 Eclipse LLPs run by Future Capital Partners.

Other investors it has named include former F&C Asset Management chief executive Alain Grisay, former athlete Colin Jackson, former England manager Terry Venables and TV presenter Gabby Logan.

The Times has also reported that 1,300 doctors and dentists are being investigated by HMRC amid suspicions they are guilty of tax evasion. It said that HMRC had clawed back £13.1 million from more than 2,000 medical staff, and that inquiries are to continue in 1,300 cases. Criminal investigations are being considered in 700 cases involving £3.1 million, it added.

The Times report is the latest in a series by the paper examining the tax arrangements of the UK's wealthy. Comedian Jimmy Carr has apologised after the paper revealed he sheltered £3.3 million in a scheme where investors expected to pay as little as 1.25% on their earnings. However, pop star Gary Barlow has remained silent after revelations that he and fellow Take That members invested at least £26 million in an Icebreaker music investment scheme that HMRC is trying to shut down. The paper has claimed that HMRC is investigating around 600 film schemes, and that it believes they represent a '£5 billion risk'.

See: 'Top 10 stars who've fallen foul of the taxman'

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Alan Jay via mobile

Jun 22, 2012 at 20:31

Is it not strange that regrets and apologies only come after they have been named and shamed. I don't think that I'm being cynical.

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Jun 22, 2012 at 23:06

The people having a field day are not so much those investing in the dodgy tax avoidance schemes but those who invent them and sell them at vast expense to the gullible with no risk of themselves falling foul of HMRC. These are the parasites. In my view any firm which invents such schemes should be licensed by HMRC. If these tax avoidance scheme inventers continually sell to others overly aggressive schemes then HMRC can withdraw their licence, effectively putting them out of business. Bingo - aggressive tax avoidance ends.

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pete the builder

Jun 23, 2012 at 17:17

HMRC use to pull in every client of the offending accountant they were so buisy fire fighting they soon gave up Looks like that policy needs reviveing But they need better quality staff .

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J Thomas

Jun 24, 2012 at 23:07

Indeed ' clever ' accountants have ruined many lives

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stuart cotton

Jun 28, 2014 at 11:11

I have been investigating numerous issues around Icebreaker investments for over four years and have many clients in complete disbelief over what has happened to their funds. There is much more to this than just the Tax Treatment and the Tribunal decision and we have been developing strategies throughout the process to assist those who are affected.

There was some aggressive selling of this as a pure Tax avoidance scheme but the vast majority of investors were convinced that they were taking part in a fully commercial venture that happened to have a tax advantage. Some members put in far more time than was required, under the Relief rules, in order to further commercialise the Intellectual Properties owned and are incredulous that their efforts have not been recognised. The tribunal was all about defending the scheme not the individual partnerships and Investors now need a new direction if they are to limit the damage'

We have been developing a wide range of strategies, based on factual scenarios and key intelligence obtained, in order to reverse several aspects that were lost. Details can be found at and

Investors in Icebreaker and others like it (Future / Eclipse, Film schemes, Fine Wines etc) need strategic support on a number of levels and I would like to speak with anyone affected, in any way.

Stuart Cotton

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