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Footballers face £250m bill over tax avoidance scheme

HM Revenue and Customs is investigating the tax affairs of 129 footballers as part of a crackdown on tax avoidance, The Mirror reports.

The papers says that in total the players put £250m into the alleged tax avoidance scheme after consulting financial advisers Kingsbridge Financial, which went into liquidation in 2015.

The scheme Kingsbridge recommended gave tax breaks to investors by offering relief on money invested in movies such as Disney’s Enchanted.

However, the breaks, which were popular under Tony Blair’s government, were scrapped in the late 2000s.

The people responsible for the scheme received huge bonuses for recruiting players, The Mirror reports.

One Manchester United star is believed to have invested £33.5m, with other high-profile investors including players from Liverpool, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers.

The paper says HMRC is now trying claim back up to 70 per cent of the amounts put in, along with interest and penalties.

This means that players face bills similar to the entire original investment as the income paid back to the scheme from the films was taxable.

A spokesman for ­Kingsbridge told The Mirror that clients were made aware “without exception” of the ­products they were investing in.

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