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Ingenious hits back at HMRC in tax avoidance row

Film investments manager says HMRC wrong to lump its fund together with a 'proven tax avoidance scheme'. 

Ingenious hits back at HMRC in tax avoidance row

Ingenious Film Partnership has accused HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of deliberately grouping it with a proven tax avoidance scheme in a press release.

Last week the First Tier Tax Tribunal said it had won its second major tax battle against Ingenious alongside the separate Icebreaker scheme. Together the schemes were worth £820 million. 

The Ingenious scheme invested in films including Avatar and Die Hard 4. The managers have denied HMRC allegations its schemes were not legitimate investment opportunities but a means of avoiding tax.

In a statement this morning, Ingenious said HMRC had deliberately misled by grouping the schemes together, since only Icebreaker was ruled as a tax avoidance scheme. 

‘HMRC wrongly and deliberately grouped the Ingenious judgement at the First Tier Tax Tribunal together with a proven tax avoidance scheme called Icebreaker leading to a number of misrepresentations in the media,’ it said. 

Icebreaker was found to have attempted to create artificial losses from investments in limited liability partnerships.

Ingenious also claimed HMRC made inaccurate factual assertions about the scheme. Ingenious said in its statement that investors had not received more in tax relief than the cash they invested, and that it believed investors were better off now than had they agreed to settle with HMRC four years ago.

HMRC said in 2012 they gave those involved in the Ingenious scheme the chance to settle. They now face interest and legal fees as well as £434 million in unpaid tax.

An HMRC spokesman said that the tribunal decision meant that investors would still have to pay back the vast majority of losses claimed as tax relief. 

'The tribunal found that no losses qualified for tax relief in respect of one of the three Ingenious schemes, and that the vast majority of the losses did not qualify for tax relief in the other two. With interest, this means hundreds of millions of pounds have been secured by HMRC as a result of the tribunal's decision,' he said. 

He added: 'What Ingenious need to do now, is sit down with us without delay and agree the precise figures as requested by the tribunal.'

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