I've been mentioned recently in the papers, along with many others, within articles concerning a tax avoidance/reduction scheme. At 19 I was lucky enough to start making money from my music career, and when I was in my early twenties I trusted financial experts and advisors to guide me with how I invested money. That I was fairly clueless and inexperienced when it came to finance goes without saying and, I'm embarrassed to admit, not as interested in it as I should have been. My focus was, and still is, totally on making music, getting on the road and performing live.
From what I can remember in 2008 when the Liberty scheme was presented to me it was not presented as 'an aggressive tax avoidance scheme.' It was presented as an 'investment scheme' that had the potential to legally reduce yearly income tax. Totally legal and legit and my accountants and advisors would take care to complete the formalities which included dealing with HMRC. Seemed pretty straight-forward and simple, so I signed up.
HMRC did later query it, and I paid the full amount of tax years ago. My tax records are completely up to date and I don’t owe HMRC any money.
Yeah it sucks getting this type of attention, but I commend the investigative journalism that is allowed in Britain. If there is ambiguity in the law then laws should be changed to disallow schemes like this, so that they would never be presented by legitimate tax experts to less experienced people like myself in the first place. Hopefully the debate will lead to positive change for all.