A film scheme marketed as a tax efficient way to invest in the movie industry and which had signed up former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has been defeated by the Upper Tax Tribunal.
Eclipse 35 was a Limited Liability Partnership which claimed, through a complex series of financial transactions, to enable its 287 partners to obtain tax relief on their general income.
It was promoted by Future Capital Partners and first used in tax year 2006-2007.
But HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) believed Eclipse 35 did not work, and two courts, the First Tier Tribunal in 2011 and, now, the Upper Tribunal, agreed with that view.
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke, welcoming the judgement, said: "The government wants to support and encourage genuine business investment through the tax system, which is why we have tax reliefs.
"However, we will not stand for abuse of those reliefs and HMRC will come down hard on anyone who tries. In this case, anyone who used the scheme to try to avoid tax will have to pay tax on the income from the scheme, meaning they are worse off than if they'd never used it. The message is clear - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is."
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