“A wealthy businessman who lived a life of luxury paid just £35.20 income tax, a BBC investigation has discovered.
Frank Timis rented a £14,000-a-month penthouse and spent thousands dining in London’s finest restaurants.
But his personal tax return for 2017 shows he paid just £35.20 in tax, after claiming that he had hardly any income from his worldwide business empire.
Mr Timis’s lawyers say he has fully complied with all of his tax obligations.
Documents leaked to BBC Panorama and Africa Eye also reveal how Mr Timis managed to do this.
They show that in 2017, Mr Timis received payments totalling £670,000 from his offshore trust.
These were mainly payments called distributions, which should have been taxable. But shortly before he submitted his tax return, Mr Timis allegedly asked the trust to turn the distributions into untaxable loans.
A backdated loan agreement was created making the loans look legitimate.
John Christiansen, from the Tax Justice Network, said it looked like Mr Timis was dodging tax: “It all points to this being a manoeuvre to cheat the tax man. And, if that is the case, because it’s been done retrospectively, there seems to be prima facie evidence that this is tax fraud and it should be investigated.” …”