Tony and Cherie Blair avoided paying £312k tax by using offshore company – Pandora papers

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The Blairs purchased an office building for £6.5million in 2017 after buying a company in the British Virgin Islands which was controlled by the family of HE Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, Bahrain’s minister for industry, commerce and tourism.

The deal is detailed in the Pandora papers, a large collection of leaked offshore documents.

They name Mr Alzayani as the shareholder of another offshore firm which has invested more than £60m in UK commercial property over the course of the last nine years – with the Marylebone address which sold to the Blairs on the list, the Guardian reports.

The Blairs were able to avoid shelling out on £312,000 in stamp duty because they bought the property’s holding company rather than the building directly.

The transaction was entirely legal and there is no suggestion the Blairs were spefically trying to avoid paying stamp duty.

Nevertheless, the deal underlines a loophole which allows wealthy landowners to avoid charges less well-off people generally have to pay.

(More to follow)

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