Ec­cle­stone goes back to court over £1bn tax bill

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

The head of F1 will fight the In­land Rev­enue’s claim that he owes £674m in tax and £349m in in­ter­est, go­ing back 13 years

For­mula 1 boss Bernie Ec­cle­stone has in­sisted that he is not con­cerned about the In­land Rev­enue’s judge­ment that he owes just over £1bil­lion in un­paid taxes.

The rul­ing is re­lated to the Bam­bino Trust, set up in Liecht­en­stein and held in the name of Ec­cle­stone’s ex-wife, Slav­ica. Ec­cle­stone handed over his shares in the For­mula 1 busi­ness to the trust in 1997.

The UK author­i­ties spent nine years in­ves­ti­gat­ing Ec­cle­stone’s tax af­fairs and came to an agree­ment with him in 2008. How­ever, the In­land Rev­enue has now torn up that agree­ment, ar­gu­ing in court in May that it had been “mis­led and re­lied on rep­re­sen­ta­tions that were false”. Its new bill is based on 13 years of in­come for the trust, to­talling £674m in tax and £349m in in­ter­est, with the pos­si­bil­ity of penalty charges on top.

Ec­cle­stone’s lawyers are ar­gu­ing that the In­land Rev­enue should stick with the pre­vi­ous agree­ment and have ap­plied for a ju­di­cial re­view. A High Court judge ruled in May that this re­view should be put on hold un­til a com­mer­cial court had heard another chal­lenge by Ec­cle­stone to the de­ci­sion.

Ec­cle­stone said: “The lawyers are deal­ing with it. That’s why it’s in court. It’s very tech­ni­cal.” Asked if he was wor­ried about the sit­u­a­tion, he replied: “No.”

The latest twist comes af­ter two court cases in­volv­ing Ec­cle­stone last year over a pay­ment to a Ger­man banker over the sale of shares in F1 to cur­rent main share­holder CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners in 2006. Ec­cle­stone paid £60m to end a case in Mu­nich in which he was ac­cused of pay­ing a bribe, with­out as­sump­tion of guilt or in­no­cence.

A case heard in Lon­don’s High Court, in which a ri­val com­pany had sought dam­ages over the sale was dis­missed, but only af­ter the judge had said: “Even… mak­ing al­lowances for the lapse of time and Mr Ec­cle­stone’s age, I am afraid that I nd it im­pos­si­ble to re­gard him as a re­li­able or truth­ful wit­ness.”

Ec­cle­stone on his latest court bat­tle: “The lawyers are deal­ing with it. That’s why it’s in court. It’s very tech­ni­cal”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.