Actor Rod Bond has become the latest celebrity to become embroiled in a film industry tax relief scandal. Following a long line of celebrities who had invested in limited liability partnerships which were presented as tax efficient investment schemes, Rod Bond has now found himself challenged by HM Revenue and Customs. After investing several million pounds with Ingenious Media, in the tax efficiency scheme which promised the actor tax relief, Rod Bond has been presented a tax bill by HMRC. With an investment of around £5 million, combined with interest, the actor now owes HMRC much more than the initial amount he put down.
Rod Bond is but one of the many celebrities, sports stars and wealthy City traders who invested in the film industry tax relief schemes. Ingenious Media, the financing company which has funded sixty films including Avatar and Brooklyn, also acquired investments from stars such as David Beckham, Ant and Dec, Jeremey Paxman, Sacha Baron Cohen and even Charles Randell, chair of the FCA. Ingenious Media offered the scheme under the auspices of Ingenious Film Partners 2 Limited Liability Partnership. For every £36 invested by the customer, £64 were further borrowed and invested with an extra £100 being added by an Ingenious-related company.
Rod Bond has joined the likes of the celebrities mentioned above alongside 250 individuals suing Ingenious for fraud in the high court in relation to the film tax relief scheme with the hope of recovering £100 million in losses. David Pickstone, a partner and head of tax litigation at Stewarts Law, who is leading the case against Ingenious Media stated, “If Ingenious are successful in their appeals [against HMRC], the some of our clients’ losses might reduce. However, it is very unlikely that our clients’ losses will be extinguished.”