TV presenter and former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has admitted posing as a used car salesman in order to dodge paying around £1m in tax.
A tribunal heard that Moyles and two other men took part in a tax avoidance scheme known as Working Wheels – which had around 450 members, including several high-profile figures – between 2006 and 2008.
He subsequently told HMRC that he had ‘engaged in self-employment as a used car trader’ from 2007-2008, claiming that he had run up losses of £1m against a profit of £3,800.
An insider told the Mirror that the scheme had featured a series of ‘phantom’ deals over cars which did not exist – and could potentially have cost the UK up to £290m.
“Anyone using an avoidance scheme is playing with fire,” an HMRC spokesperson said.
“We have a high success rate in defeating them.”
Moyles – who quit Radio 1 in 2012 – admitted he had been ‘naive’ over his tax affairs.
“Upon advice, I signed up to a scheme which I was assured was legal,” the 40-year-old said. “I’m not a tax expert and acted on advice I was given.
“This was a mistake and I accept the ruling without reservation. I have learnt a valuable lesson.”