Following a major crackdown on Future Capital Partners, FCP, by HRMC, the company has currently gone into liquidation, and this has left thousands, including celebrities with huge tax bills to pay. FCP has been one of the most successful venture finance companies with more than 17 years of experience in venture financing, tax planning, and wealth management. On the 6th of April 2014, FCP had to change the kind of services they offered and the way they were being offered, due to new measures put in place by HRMC, which will be of interest to insolvency practitioners Manchester and others around the country who may need to help business hit by changing measures.
Their primary focus and commitment at that time became to manage the portfolio of already existing investments. They ended up outsourcing all their operations to third-party companies. The company’s shutdown has left a lot of celebrities with huge losses, penalties, etc. For some individuals, this could mean bankruptcy. FCP was managing one of the largest tax avoidance schemes in the UK. In the past, it had attracted more than £ 7 billion in investments from celebrities and high profile individuals. FCP was also known for its numerous investments in movie schemes.
Some of these movie schemes include Eclipse 35 among over 30 others. The funds generated for Eclipse 35 was majorly what attracted the HRMC to clampdown the company. There was a huge disparity between the exorbitant amount generated for the movie, the various activities, and reliefs. These raised some concerns and the credibility and integrity of the scheme became questionable. This move left over 300 people, who invested in Eclipse 35 and thousands of other investors in other movie schemes, to face penalties that would be greater than their initial investment in the scheme.
In addition to other possible penalties that would be incurred by their involvement in such schemes, they cumulatively have a tax bill of about £500 million. Over 6000 celebrities and prominent individuals like movie stars, football managers, etc. are in one way involved in this. Some of these celebrities include ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the film stars Jude Law, Sienna Miller, FCP boss Tim Levy, ex- England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, and thousands of others.
Public opinion has it that, the advisers who initially described these schemes as low risk and legal should also be held accountable for the outcome of events. Her Royal Majesty’s Customs, HRMC has re-assured its commitment in going after schemes that encourage tax avoidance It has already put measures in place to go after other Eclipse-related schemes, claiming that their operations are quite similar to Eclipse 35.
Tax avoidance is quite different from tax evasion in the sense that; tax evasion has to deal with deliberately putting measures in place to avoid paying tax, while tax avoidance, on the other hand, is aimed at reducing the actual amount of tax paid using legal means. The problem with tax avoidance schemes is that people have begun to use the scheme in an illegal way, in turn making the credibility of the entire system questionable.