Prince Charles under attack over tax payments

| 18/12/2012

F534B993B9FF1229F996CC8BB5B3C.jpg(The Independent): Clarence House defended the Prince of Wales' financial arrangements today after he was reported to authorities over claims the Duchy of Cornwall is a "well entrenched tax avoidance scheme". Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, said it had written to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, asking them to investigate the £728 million organisation's taxarrangements.It claims that an information commissioner ruling in November last year means the 675-year-old Duchy is a separate legal entity to the Prince – to whom it paid more than £18 million last year – making it liable for corporation tax.

Clarence House disputed this, saying today that the Duchy is a trust set up to generate income for Princes of Wales and not liable to pay the tax.

"The Prince voluntarily pays income tax on income generated by the Duchy, so there is no legal requirement to pay corporation tax and to do so would result in double taxation," a spokeswoman said.

The Duchy is the estate given to the heir to the throne, and according to its 2012 accounts, comprises around 53,408 hectares of land in 24 counties, mostly in the south west of England and including the whole of the Isles of Scilly.

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