TV chef Ramsay in new HMRC tax probe
13 Aug 2013
13 Aug 2013
Foul-mouthed TV chef Gordon Ramsay is being probed by HMRC over allegations his company committed 'serious fraud' made after a whistleblower leaked details of a seven-figure unpaid tax bill to the taxman.
The star of Channel 4's Hotel Hell series' business - Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) - is now under investigation over the leaked memo that claims the unpaid tax bill, was covered up during a previous probe in 2010, the Daily Mail reports.However, a Ramsay spokesman refutes claims that he knew about any wrongdoing and had already taken steps to address the situation.
'This investigation was triggered by Gordon when he became aware of certain actions and conduct of some employees when the business was run under previous management. Gordon voluntarily approached the HMRC when a note detailing these actions came to light.
'The employees involved have since been dismissed and GRH continues to work with Deloitte and HMRC to conclude the matter.'
Deloitte declined to comment on reports that 'five of its senior partners have been trawling through 30,000 emails in an attempt to clear the chef's name'.
The 2010-dated memo, was penned by former GRH finance chief, Trevor James, who worked at the business since 2007 having previously probed Ramsay on behalf of HMRC. It is understood to have charted how the company had dramatically reduced its tax and National Insurance bill by shielding the real facts from HMRC. James is understood to have been sacked earlier this year.
GRH was first investigated by HMRC in 2005 following allegations the it had abused cash from the company's tips fund. The celebrity chef was later cleared of any wrongdoing and agreed to pay an amount of outstanding tax.
While the investigation is a civil matter, HMRC has the right to bring criminal charges if individuals are found to have committed serious tax evasion, and the penalties can include a spell in jail.
HMRC said it would not comment on individual cases.