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Ecclestone in 1bn tax fight

NEWS STORY
21/05/2015

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone faces a 1bn tax bill after HMRC launches fresh challenge.

Tax officials in the UK have issued a demand for more than 1bn in a case that stems from the Bambino Trust set up by Ecclestone in 1997 in Liechtenstein.

While Ecclestone is understood to have come to an agreement with HM Revenue and Customs in 2008, paying an alleged 10m settlement, the trial of former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky and subsequent legal cases in Germany, spurred the tax man into action resulting in a new bill for 1bn.

The Bambino Trust, was set up for his (then) wife and daughters, and under the terms of the trust Ecclestone was to have no influence on it. However, during Gribkowsky's trial it was revealed that the trust had paid the banker when he attempted to report the F1 supremo to the British tax authorities.

It was also claimed that Ecclestone has received an estimated 300m from the trust since divorcing his former wife Slavica in 2009.

Ecclestone has now reacted with his own law suit his lawyers claiming that HMRC has reneged on the deal made in 2008.

"All this is technical, so I don't know what we've done or haven't done," Ecclestone told reporters in Monaco. "They said the best thing to do to get this out of the way is to take the action they have taken," he added, referring to his legal team's recommendation.

"I've never, ever, ever had anything to do with the trust," he insisted. "I've paid all the taxes I've ever had to pay."

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1. Posted by Growler2, 22/05/2015 11:19

"
"I've never, ever, ever had anything to do with the trust," he [Ecclestone] insisted.

Dear me! He really has lost his memory! Does he not remember that the Bambino Trust paid him $22.2million following the sale of F1 to CVC? Perhaps he should re-read Mr Justice Newey's judgement in the Constantin Medien case to remind himself of his dealings with the trust? That's the case where the judge also expresses his opinion on the reliability of Ecclestone's testimony."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 22/05/2015 8:44

"Hopefully the sound of pigeons coming home to roost.

I thought that Bernito had incriminated himself when he stated that he'd (note) paid "hush money" precisely to prevent HMRC from finding-out about his "dodgy" dealings.
Also, claiming that HMRC "reneged" on a deal merely confirms that he hasn't always been quite as law-abiding, as he's asserted.

I'm pretty sure he'll get off (again) by inking yet another secret deal where he pays about 5% of any tax owed and can continue jetting about doing deals with despots and dictators. Business as usual in fact."

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3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 22/05/2015 4:37

"I'm with the British government on this one. Bernie claims to have no control over the slush fund (sorry, the trust fund), yet it was able to pay Gribkowsky a considerable sum of money, and indirectly via an account in a 3rd country. How could the trust possibly even know who to pay, how much to pay, and what reason to pay if Bernie didn't supply a reason? And what was the reason given?

There has to have been a reason, even if Bernie claims that he never, ever, ever had anything to do with the trust. I will be quite happy to supply the trust fund with my own account details and request for $50 million if they are giving money away randomly to anybody without a reason."

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4. Posted by Joop deBruin, 22/05/2015 2:29

"Queue up the Beatles' "Tax Man".
Given BE's age, the last stanza is appropriate:
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

And you're working for no one but me
Taxman!"

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5. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 21/05/2015 22:47

"Could this be BE's 'Leona Helmsley' moment?

If HMRC are successful will it mean more non-core GPs, if he is really desperate for money we could even end up with the ISIS GP 😢"

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