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Ingenious Media: we are not promoters for tax avoidance schemes

Ingenious Media has denied its film investment schemes were created solely to allow individuals to avoid paying tax, and said it is 'completely confident' that an ongoing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inquiry would end favourably for the firm.

Ingenious said the Inside Track and Ingenious Film Partners LLPs, which offered investors the opportunity to back a variety of projects and are currently subject to HMRC investigation, had been created to allow investors to back the film industry.

In a letter, chief executive of Ingenious Media Investments James Clayton, said: 'We are completely confident that HMRC will agree that our film businesses are carried out on a commercial basis with a view to profit, not least because we already know the actual profitability and likely profitability of a number of our films.'

Clayton said investigations by HMRC were a 'routine occurrence', adding that his firm had managed many partnerships that had been the subject of enquiries, none of which had ever closed with an 'unsatisfactory outcome.'

Although the enquiry continues, Clayton added: 'The partnerships' commerciality is the only main point of substance to be settled.'

A report in the Mail on Sunday recently said celebrities including footballers Wayne Rooney and David Beckham could face a large tax bill following moves by HMRC to tighten up the rules for investing in the film industry.

The stars, along with dozens of others, were said to have invested in a number of film partnerships to take advantage of the tax breaks they offered. However, the rules governing film partnerships were changed in 2007 when the Inland Revenue said the schemes would be targeted as part of a tax avoidance crackdown. Any tax relief now goes to the film company rather than individual investors.

Clayton said an inquiry by HMRC did not mean there was anything wrong with the nature of the schemes, and he said every business run by Ingenious was in the spirit and letter of the law.

'We are investors in the creative industries, not promoters of tax avoidance schemes,' he said.

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