Livingtone faces HMRC inquiry

LABOUR’S LONDON mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone faces an HM Revenue & Customs investigation after admitting that he set election expenses against tax, the Telegraph reports.

The purpose of Mr Livingstone’s company is to handle his personal earnings from broadcasting, his recent autobiography and after-dinner speaking, not to run his election campaign.

The Telegraph previously reported that Livingstone has avoided at least £50,000 in tax by channelling his earnings through a personal company and paying corporation tax at a lower rate than under income tax.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Telegraph he had written to HMRC’s compliance unit asking for an investigation. “It looks like Mr Livingstone has effectively been getting the taxpayer to subsidise his re-election effort, paying for it out of untaxed income,” he said.

“If that is the case, it is wholly wrong.”

A spokesman for HMRC said: “If we become aware of specific dealings that fall outside [HMRC guidance], we will look at them. We may well open an inquiry into that person’s affairs.”

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