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Bankers and celebrities sue film tax scheme Ingenious

Cinema-Reel-Movie-Film-Projector-700.jpgA group of 500 people have launched legal action against Ingenious Media saying they were misled about film investments that were later deemed to be tax avoidance by the government.

According to Bloomberg, which cites court documents, employees from companies including Goldman Sachs, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC are part of the action.

British composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber is listed among celebrity claimants against the London-based company, which provided funding for several prominent films including Avatar and Life of Pi.

Ingenious ran investment plans focused on films that were designed to be “tax efficient”. It was first investigated by HMRC in 2016, with chief executive Neil Forster claiming it had been incorrectly linked to another tax avoidance scheme.

Should the tax-free lump sum be separated from pension decisions?

Ingenious remains in a legal battle with tax authorities over the legitimacy of its books.

Bloomberg reports the claimants’ lawyer, David Pickstone of Stewarts Law, says only a quarter of investors have come forward so far.

The case expects to recover up to £200m in total, with a hearing scheduled for next year.

FCA chair and former lawyer Charles Randall came forward as an investor in Ingenious earlier this year, saying the scheme had been promoted to him by his former financial adviser.

Randall subsequently paid £114,000 to HMRC.

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