Coutts sued over film partnerships advice

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Coutts, the private banking and wealth management arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of pounds in redress following client claims they were given bad advice to invest in film schemes.

According to the Times, 220 clients have filed a lawsuit against Coutts, UBS and other advisers related to a more than £100m bill in back taxes and interest from HM Revenue and Customs.

The law suit is being managed by Stewarts Law and concerns film partnerships created by Ingenious Media, which has been in a long-running tax avoidance battle with HMRC.

The First Tier tax tribunal released a mixed decision last month, which both Ingenious and HMRC claimed to have won. The tribunal found some parts of the scheme were eligible for tax relief while others were not.

Both HMRC and Ingenious are likely to consider appealing the tribunal decision.

Stewarts Law tax litigation head David Pickstone told the Times: “Investors were assured that these partnerships were entirely legitimate trading businesses seeking to make profit through financing films and video games.

“While investors have been vilified for seeking to avoid tax, the reality is they invested and lost substantial capital having been assured that any losses would be mitigated by government-sponsored tax reliefs.”