So you get it here as well:
\”I\’ve got nothing to hide and nothing to be embarrassed about on this issues referred to,\”
That\’s interesting Richard. From an email which looked into Companies House records.
\” Fulcrum Publishing Ltd:
“Publishes original written materials”, seems to have been his old vehicle for paid writing.
Jointly owned 50:50 by Ritchie and Jacqueline Murphy (same address, born 1963, presumably his wife).
Hasn’t traded since 2003, but when it was trading it paid out all of its profits as dividends. Incorporation and taking dividends from the company instead of a salary is a classic tax/NI avoidance strategy – as he set out in his Observer article.
I wonder how much of the company’s work his wife did, or whether giving her shares was just a device to save tax by transferring half of the income to her? Did “the rewards paid [to her] match the underlying economic substance” (Ritchie’s own test of whether incorporation is “abusive”)? It seems unlikely that she was generating 50% of the profits from his writing.
It’s difficult to see what legitimate non-tax reason he would have for incorporation, and (as he said in his reply to you) he regularly argues against incorporation – for other people.\”
The Tax Gap Ltd (formerly Tax Research Ltd):
Carries out “social science research”. Shares owned 90% Ritchie, 10% Jacqueline.
Paid out small (£3-4k) directors’ salaries in 2005, 2006 & 2007 (another classic tax/NI avoidance strategy, keeping the salary under the personal allowance).
Paid out a £12,000 dividend in 2006 (classic NI avoidance strategy, to take money out as NI-exempt dividend rather than salary).
Profits of nearly £13,000 retained in the company (another classic tax avoidance strategy, to delay paying dividends until a year when your income is below the higher rate threshold).
So, err, you wrote the article to close down a strategy that you yourself were using?
That\’s, umm, an interesting defence if I may say so.