Gary Barlow has done nothing illegal, says deVere
deVere United Kingdom’s Head of Financial Planning, Kevin White was interviewed by BBC TV’s main news anchor, Huw Edwards, on Monday, and subsequently by BBC Radio 5 Live’s flagship late night news programme, to discuss the ruling that Gary Barlow and two of his Take That band mates should repay tens of millions of pounds to HMRC for being part of a tax avoidance scheme.
Kevin, speaking on behalf of deVere Group, went on record to disagree with the ruling. He commented: “Tax avoidance is not a crime, tax avoidance is legal and can form part of a competent financial strategy.”
Gary Barlow, and up to a thousand others, purportedly invested into a company which supports creative industries. When this firm reported huge losses the investors then offset this amount against their tax bills. A judge since ruled this action as a ‘tax avoidance ruse.’
As Kevin affirmed there are obvious grey areas surrounding this scheme, and therefore it is not something deVere would advise its clients to get involved with, but the outcry surrounding Gary Barlow’s situation is completely misplaced.
What the Take That frontman did was totally within the law, and suggestions that he had been ‘getting away’ with not paying tax before now is nonsensical. You can’t ‘get away’ with something that isn’t illegal.
The news has sparked much controversy throughout the country, but the Prime Minister is showing his full support for Gary Barlow, amidst calls the singer should be stripped of his OBE: “Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country. He’s raised money for charity, he’s done very well for Children in Need so I’m not sure he should be stripped of his OBE in respect of the work he has done.”
In contrast to David Cameron’s backing, pop star Lily Allen made her views about Gary Barlow abundantly clear on Twitter. “Well at least the Queen got a nice birthday party/jubilee, whatever @GaryBarlow #taxdodging.”
Individuals against these so-called tax avoidance schemes should, in my opinion, perhaps focus their energies on taking their objections to MPs, who could actually do something to change the multifarious tax laws in the United Kingdom, rather than spark a crusade against people or businesses that have, in effect, acted within the law to mitigate their tax burdens.