By Shehab Khan
The four-time Formula 1 world champion reportedly 'dodged' VAT on a private jet
Lewis Hamilton received a £3.7m VAT refund on his £16m private jet using an Isle of Man scheme, leaked documents reveal.
The four-time Formula 1 world champion apparently avoided taxes by setting up an artificial leasing business through which he “rented out” his private jet to himself.
Accountancy firm EY and Appleby allegedly helped him and others set up leasing businesses through which jets were rented, while still allowing them use of the jets for personal journeys.
Hamilton said senior lawyers were instructed to check the arrangements and they were found to be lawful.
He also added that he relies on professional advice and was not concerned or majorly involved in the day-to-day management of his business, the Guardian reported.
There is no suggestion that Hamilton was involved in setting up the business to reduce the amount of tax he had to pay and legitimate tax avoidance schemes are not illegal.
Hamilton is contracted to Mercedes and left the United Kingdom to live in Monaco and then Switzerland in 2007.
His personal wealth is estimated to be at £131m and he featured in the Sunday Times Rich List for 2017.
When it was published he told the Sunday Times Style magazine: “I race in 19 different countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and I pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well.
“I am contributing to the country and, not only that, I help keep a team of more than 1,000 people employed. I am part of a much bigger picture.”