Jet-setting Hamilton under investigation| The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:42 PM, November 08, 2017

Formula 1

Jet-setting Hamilton under investigation

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton avoided paying taxes on his private jet using an elaborate scheme now under investigation by British tax authorities, new leaked documents revealed on Monday.

The driver received a £3.3 million VAT refund in 2013 after his luxury plane was imported into the Isle of Man -- a low-tax British Crown Dependency, according to the BBC and Guardian newspaper.

The revelations are the latest to emerge from the Paradise Paper.

They allege accountancy firm EY and Appleby -- the Bermuda-based law firm at the centre of the leaks -- assisted Hamilton in setting up seemingly artificial leasing businesses to get VAT rebates.

The complex arrangements may contravene Europe-wide rules forbidding refunds for personal use, the media outlets said.

Hamilton's lawyers told the BBC a review by a tax barrister found the structure was lawful, and that some VAT had been paid through the arrangements.

There is also no indication Hamilton was directly involved in creating the scheme, and simply followed advice, the Guardian said.

Questions have also been raised about who controls Everton FC and whether Premier League rules have been broken.

Farhad Moshiri sold his Arsenal stake in 2016 to buy nearly 50% of Everton. But the leaks suggest his original Arsenal stake was funded by a "gift" from Alisher Usmanov, who owns 30.4% of Arsenal, raising the question of whether his money is now in Everton.

Mr Moshiri strenuously denied the money was a gift. Lawyers acting for him in the Everton deal said any allegation Premier League rules had been violated were wholly false.

They say Mr Moshiri is independently wealthy and funded the football investments himself.

Sports giant Nike were also heavily implicated, having spun a complex web of businesses based in dozens of countries that allowed them to beat the taxman.

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