Christian Aid fury over pop star’s tax dodge

Christian Aid fury over pop star at heart of tax dodge
Singer Katie Melua (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

Singer Katie Melua was branded ‘a fallen hero’ in a stinging attack by a charity yesterday after being named among celebrities involved in a £1.2billion tax avoidance scheme.

The 29-year-old, pictured left, who allegedly invested £850,000 in the Liberty tax strategy, was accused by Christian Aid which once nominated her as a ‘tax superhero’.

The charity issued a statement titled ‘Fallen Hero: Christian Aid Disappointed at Pop Star Tax Dodging’ and rattled off a string of disparaging tweets.

One read: ‘You can buy Katie Melua’s albums on Amazon. Or you sign up to become a tax justice4 campaigner’ with a link to their campaign website.

Melua, who was nominated for the charity’s award in 2010 after saying she gladly paid nearly half her income in taxes, insisted she had paid her dues and the Treasury had not lost a penny.

She was named among 1,600 people involved in the Liberty scheme, which helped them sidestep £1.2billion in tax.

Other celebrities said to be involved included Sir Michael Caine, George Michael and four members of Arctic Monkeys, alongside businessmen, QCs, doctors and a loan shark found guilty of rape.

Christian Aid’s Joseph Stead said it was ‘morally wrong’ to avoid paying tax as it ‘forces up taxes on people who are too poor or too honest to use such schemes’.

The charity continued its attack on Twitter, writing: ‘Mark Twain once said: “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes”. But then he never had heard of the Liberty tax shelter scheme!’

However, a representative for Melua insisted she only invested in Liberty at the suggestion of her accountants. ‘When HMRC stated they were reviewing the scheme, she paid the tax to HMRC in full,’ she added.

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