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Royal tax exemptions justified, say readers

TAX EXEMPTIONS for the Duchy of Cornwall and other similar breaks for the Royal family and its estates are justified, according to Accountancy Age readers.

Of the 80 polled, 70% felt exemptions on corporation tax and capital gains tax were reasonable, with the remaining 30% voting against the measure.

The duchy, a private estate established in 1337 in order to provide the heir to the throne with a private income, pays no corporation tax or capital gains tax due to a memorandum of understanding on Royal taxation struck between government and the Crown in 1993.

The prince’s principal private secretary William Nye appeared before the Public Accounts Committee in order to give evidence on the royal’s accounts. He was accompanied by Willis and the Treasury’s officer for accounts Paula Diggle.

The PAC maintained Prince Charles uses the Duchy of Cornwall to escape taxes.

The estate, Nye said, is not a corporation, and as such is not liable to corporation tax, despite committee chair Margaret Hodge insisting it “has all the features of a corporation”.

While the estate is an “unusual” entity, Nye said, he repeatedly returned to the fact Prince Charles, as the duke, voluntarily pays income tax at the highest rate on the earnings he generates from it, after deducting expenses.

Take part in the latest Accountancy Age poll. Do you agree with the legal opinion of George Bompas QC, that IFRS has substantial legal flaws?

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