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Sir Chris Hoy defends tax arrangements

Category: Scotland

Published: 23rd Jun 2012 14:23:00

Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has defended his tax arrangements after it was reported that he received a loan from his own company.

Sir Chris, who is to carry the Olympic flame in Manchester, said neither he nor his company disguised remuneration.

He also said he takes his responsibilities as a taxpayer "as seriously as I do as an athlete".

The 36-year-old said: "Everything I have done is as a UK resident, and is UK taxable and not offshore."

The athlete was responding to claims made in the Guardian about his tax affairs.

Sir Chris, who is Britain's most successful Olympic cyclist, did say that he took a loan from his company Trackstars Limited in 2010, but said it was repaid in full in October 2011. He said the practice is standard in most small companies in the country.

"The dividends that I took to repay the loan were in fact taxed at the highest rate," he said.

"I saw an opportunity to buy property and with the guidance of my advisers I borrowed money from my company to do so. The loan was subsequently repaid shortly thereafter by declaration of fully taxable dividends."

Sir Chris has previously received lottery funding, but this ended in October 2008.

"I am very proudly British and my responsibilities as a British sportsman do not stop once I step off the bike," he said.

"I take my responsibilities as a taxpayer as seriously as I do as an athlete."

Sir Chris's comments come after comedian Jimmy Carr faced the public following revelations about his tax arrangements.

He appeared onstage at the Stockport Plaza for a live comedy gig, and the latest episode of his TV panel show, Eight Out Of 10 Cats, was broadcast on Channel 4 on Friday.

Mr Carr has said he "made a terrible error of judgement" by using the K2 tax avoidance scheme and has now ended his involvement in it.

The K2 tax scheme is a way of lowering the amount of tax paid. It is legal and Mr Carr made clear in his statement it was fully disclosed to tax authorities.

Prime Minister David Cameron had called Mr Carr's use of the arrangement "morally wrong".

More than 1,000 people are thought to be using the Jersey-based K2 scheme, which is said to be sheltering £168m a year from the Treasury.

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BBC News, 2012. Sir Chris Hoy defends tax arrangements [Online] (Updated 23rd Jun 2012)
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