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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has put around 600 film investment schemes under inquiry, as part of its ongoing clampdown on tax avoidance, according to reports.
The Times reported that HMRC referred to film investment schemes as a ‘£5 billion pound risk’ and that many of the schemes being investigated have been set up by Ingenious Media boss Patrick McKenna and Future Capital Partners founder Tim Levy.
The news that film investment schemes are a target for HMRC comes after prime minister David Cameron condemned comedian Jimmy Carr for his reported involvement in an offshore tax arrangement as ‘morally wrong'.
The Times reported that Levy treated IFAs who sold his investment schemes to stays on a luxury yacht during the Cannes film festival with €1,000 magnums of champagne laid on, skiing holidays, and trips to the Rugby World Cup.
It said that during Cannes 15 IFAs would be flown over at a time for 48 hours, before being replaced with another set.