Jimmy Carr has recently come under scrutiny for partaking in a tax avoidance scheme. The multi millionaire comedian was outed by The Times newspaper earlier this week for his participation in the K2 tax scheme which is a legal organisation that aims to minimise tax payments.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs fully disclose the K2 tax scheme but the use of such legal organisations is frowned upon.
With pressure mounting throughout the week and with politicians and fellow comedians alike airing their views about Jimmy Carr’s tax dodging, he has been forced to take to twitter and apologise.
He said "I appreciate as a comedian, people will expect me to 'make light' of this situation, but I'm not going to in this statement.
As this is obviously a serious matter. I met with a financial advisor and he said to me 'Do you want to pay less tax? It's totally legal. I said 'Yes'. I now realise I've made a terrible error of judgement.
Although I've been advised the K2 Tax scheme is entirely legal, and has been fully disclosed to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs), I'm no longer involved in it and will in future conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly. Apologies to everyone.”
I can’t help but wonder how many more people with his income would try their hand at a bit of tax avoidance and whether comments such as “It is unfair on the people who pay to watch the comic perform that he was not paying his taxes in the same way that they did.” from David Cameron earlier this week are completely irrelevant in terms of the countries view on protecting what you earn/taxes in general.
Its granted that tax payments are an inevitable part of making money but when asked, ‘would you like to save some money and pay less tax in a completely legal tax scheme?’ How many people would say no?
Jimmy Carr is a famous British comedian and along with his success comes a certain amount of responsibility to set an example. This taken into account he had no option but to hold his hand up and apologise but perhaps we should put ourselves in his shoes and think about what we would do in his position before we jump down his throat. There are two sides to every story.