Avoidance scheme promoter threatens to sue Deloitte

THE PROMOTERS of pop group Take That’s tax avoidance scheme is considering taking legal action against Deloitte following commentary article from one of its advisers following the scheme’s failure in tribunal.

Icebreaker Management created the Icebreaker tax avoidance scheme which was used by Take That stars Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, amongst thousands of other investors to ring-fence more than £300m on the premise of saving £135m in tax.

Investors augmented tax relief by taking out offshore loans prepared by Icebreaker. As a result, an investment of £40,000 in the company and a loan of £160,000 from it, would generate about £77,520 in tax reliefs the government had intended would support those in creative industries.

Deloitte represented Icebreaker Management in court during its battle against HM Revenue & Customs last year as the taxman sought to shut the scheme down.

According to The Times, Icebreaker Management sacked Deloitte after its head of tax policy Bill Dodwell, who was not involved in the case, wrote an article praising the clarity of the decision.

Icebreaker founder Caroline Hamilton alleged the comments were in clear breach of Deloitte’s duties to act at all times in Icebreaker’s best interests as its instructing solicitors and not to allow its own interest to conflict with Icebreaker’s.

Icebreaker has appointed Rosenblatt Solicitors to ‘take action’ against the firm if necessary, according to reports, and the company said it is possible it may result in a bid to claim for damages against Deloitte.

Deloitte would not comment on the matter. Accountancy Age has apporached Icebreaker Management for comment.

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