The latest Ecotricity accounts, posted on Friday at Companies House, show Mr Vince has been loaned £3.2 million by his own company. The loan is interest free and there is no time limit stipulating when it must be repaid.
The loan allows Mr Vince – who made his fortune building wind farms and solar parks and selling green electricity to 150,000 customers – to use the income without paying personal tax on it, other than a much reduced sum as a benefit in kind.
Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and tax expert, said: “What the loan does is potentially advance money at a lower rate of tax than would be the case if he was paid a dividend or a salary now.
“Deferring when the tax is paid is one of the major methods of tax avoidance. This therefore looks to be a tax avoidance arrangement.”