Government adviser implicated in avoidance scheme

A GOVERNMENT ADVISER is among those facing a sizeable bill from HM Revenue & Customs after it emerged he invested in the controversial Ingenious Media film schemes.

Anthony Odgers is deputy chief executive of the Shareholder Executive, part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) that offers corporate finance advice for government ministers, City AM reports.

He was appointed in 2010 and was a member of the Ingenious Media investment portfolio at the time, but has since left the scheme.

Hundreds of investors including business leaders, sports stars and entertainers have been told to prepare for a £520m tax bill as HMRC cracks down on the use of alleged tax avoidance schemes.

The investors are caught up in a crackdown that will see those in tax avoidance schemes forced to pay their bills up front while HMRC investigates their arrangements.

Ingenious told its investors: “We have done everything we can to lobby for changes to the accelerated payment proposals as the Bill has progressed through Parliament, but without success.”

Ingenious Media, which has financed box-office hits such as Avatar, has previously denied that its film and game partnerships are tax avoidance schemes, saying they are legitimate businesses that have generated more than £1bn of taxable revenue.

A BIS spokesman told City AM: “Anthony Odgers is no longer a partner. His investment pre-dated him joining government from Deutsche Bank and was fully disclosed to the tax authorities from the outset.

Related reading