Frankie Boyle hits back over tax claims

Frankie Boyle
Image caption Boyle said there were lots of ways people avoided paying tax and he did not do any of them.

Comedian Frankie Boyle has strongly defended his tax arrangements after it was alleged he could have avoided paying nearly £900,000 tax last year.

Boyle said on Twitter that he had paid £2.7m in tax since 2007, which amounted to just under 40% of his income.

He said he was certain he paid more tax than most people in showbusiness and the cabinet.

The Daily Mail said the tax could have been saved when he put his production company into voluntary liquidation.

It comes after fellow comic Jimmy Carr was criticised for using a complex scheme to reduce his tax payments.

The newspaper said Boyle, who mocked Carr after he hit the headlines, might also have been the beneficiary of sharp but legal accountancy methods to save tax on the millions of pounds he has earned through TV shows, tours, DVDs and book sales.

By closing Traskor Productions Limited, of which he was sole director and shareholder, the paper said he might have been able to pay a tax rate of 10%, rather than 50% if he had taken money out as dividends or income.

This is because he could have been entitled to "entrepreneur" tax relief, saving him £880,762, it said.

Carr error

On Twitter Boyle wrote: "From 2007 I have paid £2.7m in tax and this equates to just under 40% of my income.

"There's a lot of things people do to avoid paying tax and I don't do any of them.

"I wound my company up for legal reasons separate from tax and my accountant applied for tax relief on this. This tax relief is approximately half of the tax saving the Mail quoted in its article today.

"I am certain I pay more tax than most people in show business and the cabinet."

Prime Minister David Cameron called Carr's use of the K2 tax scheme, which can lower the amount of tax paid as "morally wrong".

It is legal and Mr Carr made clear in his statement it was fully disclosed to HMRC.

He said he had "made a terrible error of judgement".

More than 1,000 people, including Carr, are thought to be using the Jersey-based K2 scheme, which is said to be sheltering £168m a year from the Treasury.

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