HMRC has won a landmark case in which the Icebreaker partnership schemes were shut down, after a first tier tax tribunal ruled it was set up solely to shelter more than £130m in tax.
Around £336m was invested into the scheme, which was developed by entertainment firm Icebreaker Management and adopted by 51 partnerships. The scheme purported to find finance for creative projects within the music industry and offer a return for investors, but in fact generated losses.
Included in the investors were singer Gary Barlow, and two of his Take That bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen. The band's manager, Jonathan Wilde, was also involved in investing more than £66m into partnership Larkdale LLP.
Their partnership then reported losses of £25m, which was used to avoid tax on £63m the band had earned from their 2005 reunion world tour and CD sales. They are said to be considering undertaking a world tour late this year to raise the estimated £30m they owe in tax as a result of the scheme’s failure.
They and around 1,000 other investors may have to...