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Footballers and TV stars linked to £700m tax relief scheme

HMRC argued the scheme was not a legitimate investment opportunity but rather a means of avoiding tax.

Footballers and TV stars are among those listed as being involved in a £700 million tax relief scheme.

David and Victoria Beckham, Ant and Dec and Davina McCall are named on Companies House files as being linked to finance firm Ingenious.

The scheme invested in films including Avatar in a bid to secure tax relief.

HMRC argued the scheme was not a legitimate investment opportunity but rather a means of avoiding tax, with a decision upheld this week that the incentives were not “allowable deductions”.

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TV presenters Ant and Dec are named on Companies House files as being linked to finance firm Ingenious (John Stillwell/PA)

This could mean investors will face higher tax bills, though Ingenious is said to be appealing the ruling.

It is reported more than 1,000 people invested in the film financing scheme and a list of members from Companies House includes the Beckhams as well as other footballers Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Emile Heskey.

Others listed from the world of sport include Gary McAllister, Jussi Jaskelainen and cricket star Nasser Hussain.

As well as Victoria Beckham, two other former Spice Girls – Geri Halliwell and Melanie Chisholm – are named, alongside musicians Peter Gabriel and Robbie Williams, as well as Jeremy Paxman.

It has not been claimed the scheme was doing anything illegal.

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