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Hamilton: Business as usual despite tax row

NEWS STORY
08/11/2017

Earlier this week, Lewis Hamilton was one of many celebrities, sports stars, politicians and even royalty claimed to have used creative accountancy to avoid paying tax. In the world champion's case, this amounted to 3.3m in VAT due on the purchase of a 16.5m private jet.

According to the so-called Paradise Papers, using shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man and Guernsey to avoid the 3.3m due when he imported the plane from Canada to the UK in 2013.

No doubt, the Briton will face plenty of questions from the media over the Grand Prix weekend, but ahead of the penultimate race of the season, the Briton was in no mood to discuss the issue, insisting he has a far more taxing task ahead of him.

"Obviously right now there is a bit of a storm surrounding me," he told reporters in Sao Paulo. "There are many different stories around, but I don't have anything to add to the whole scenario that has happened. It doesn't distract me from my core values, and also what I am here to do which is to try and win the Brazilian Grand Prix for a second time in my life.

"I have just come back from an eight-day holiday with close family and friends, and had the best time ever," said the Briton, who secured his fourth title two weeks ago in Mexico. "It was just amazing to be able to share this great experience of winning the world championship with these people who have been a part of my life.

"So, I come here with this greatest feeling, amazing energy, and want to absorb that positive energy and try to shine my light as bright as I can here in Brazil. I have had this huge wave of positive energy and nothing can really dent that. I carry that here, and I am solely focused on trying to win the race this weekend.

"The championship is done, but there are still two races to go and it is important to win those two races to solidify what I have worked on this year," he added. "If I was to sit back, relax and let someone else take the glory, sure it would be nice for them, but that is not what I am about.

"So, this weekend I am still faced with the same challenges. It is going to be close, but my goal remains the same. I want to continue to raise the bar."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spartacus, 09/11/2017 16:32

"Yes, this is an interesting topic, since I don't believe HAM should avoid paying taxes, however what would be reasonable? I am sure there are luxury, plane, fuel and amount over, taxes applied to this purchase. Since the very wealthy have the resources that can creatively assist you, that is the way it goes. Just like spin doctor said, if there are loop holes, people can use them. "

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 09/11/2017 12:53

"It's a disgrace, but it's "legal". I doubt Hamilton has the slightest idea about how his finances are managed, though this hardly makes him "innocent".

The fact is that if you are wealthy enough in virtually any country, you can wangle it so you pay little or no tax. This applies equally to Corporations and individuals of High Net Worth.

We (UK) are fortunate enough to live in a democracy, most people don't. We have remedies, the most obvious of which is vote for a Government which, unlike those of the last 35 years actually applies taxation fairly and to all, eliminating loopholes.

As a cynic I doubt it will happen, but we live in hope!
"

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3. Posted by Joop deBruin, 09/11/2017 12:22

"The cost of 1930s medical care under the NHS."

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4. Posted by G1inger, 09/11/2017 3:52

"I don't understand the outrage over using clever accountants to legally avoid paying taxes. To me, the real outrage was discovering that the UK has a 20% sales tax. If I lived there, I'd do whatever I could to avoid that punitive taxation too."

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5. Posted by Ludovico, 09/11/2017 1:40

"So, how many Lewis fans would have benefitted from the taxes he ‘overtook’?"

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