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Why is Tony Blair hiding behind a limited partnership?

Why is Tony Blair hiding behind a limited partnership?

Accountants for contractors might be interested to learn more about the recently published accounts of former PM Tony Blair.

Once he left his job as Prime Minister in June 2007, Blair adopted an opaque business structure, channelling millions through a complex network of companies. The net result of this tangled web was that it looks like he paid only a fraction of the tax he should have done.

Tony Blair managed the majority of his business affairs through Windrush Venture, a management services company. Last year the company posted income of £12 million and expenses of £10.9 million. Blair paid corporation tax on the £1.1 million profit at the rate of 28%.

However, questions have been raised about the sheer size of the administrative expenses. After paying for salaries, rent and office equipment and furniture, almost £8 million remains unexplained.

Blair set up his corporate structure as a limited partnership and he is keeping this as a tightly guarded secret. Nobody knows how much money is contained in the LP. But why is he operating a totally secretive organisation?

Tony Blair has exploited legal loopholes to ensure the limited partnership does not need to file public accounts. The Windrush accounts, on the other hand, are prepared according to accounting and regulatory guidelines, and audited by KPMG.

Conservative MPs recently supported calls for a new tax avoidance rule, and Ed Milliband, the Labour leader, is calling for responsible capitalism. Under his current accounting regime, it doesn’t look like Mr Blair would fit into the category of responsible capitalist!

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Image: Hide and Seek by F. C. Photography

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