Mrs Brown's Boys actors used offshore accounts to avoid tax, according to report
Several actors from BBC sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys are part of the tax avoidance scheme detailed in the so-called Paradise Papers, according to reports.
The Guardian has named Amanda Woods, Paddy Houlihan, Martin Delany, Fiona O'Carroll and Danny O'Carroll as part of the scandal, which has also seen high-profile figures such as Bono and Queen Elizabeth II exposed for hiding their money from the taxman.
The complicated scheme saw the actors "allocated trusts and cell companies based in Mauritius" where they could transfer their money without paying any tax on it, before simply loaning it back to themselves. It is estimated that over the course of two years, more than £1.5 million was transferred into the cells owned by Fiona O'Carroll, Delany, and Houlihan.
Houlihan, who plays Dermot on the show, spoke to The Irish Times about his dealings with Appleby, the law firm involved in the Paradise Papers leaks, and said "The first thing I thought of was the Jimmy Carr thing, but I was told it was fully legal.”
“I was told the money went to a trust and it wasn’t mine until I received it, and I didn’t have to pay any tax until I got the money. I was in control of when I would pay the tax.”
Appleby has issued a statement assuring that its actions were above board, arguing that "There is no evidence of wrongdoing either on the part of ourselves or our clients.” The Guardian, however, has written that "it is not clear whether the scheme will fall foul of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs Rules."
Brendan O'Carroll has not been named in the Paradise Papers leak.
Richard Bilton from Panorama approached Fiona O'Carroll with questions about the apparent tax dodge but O'Carroll declined to respond, telling the reporter "I don't even know who you are."
— Panorama 🌐 (@BBCPanorama) November 6, 2017