The records show that as of 2007, the queen's personal estate invested in a Cayman Islands fund that in turn invested in a private equity company that controlled BrightHouse, a United Kingdom rent-to-own firm criticised by consumer watchdogs and members of Parliament for selling household goods to cash-strapped Britons on payment plans with interest rates as high as 99.9 percent.
The Queen voluntarily pays income tax on revenue she receives. It refused to disclose the size of its original investment in the company, made in 2005, as its share price began to rocket.
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"I think the Queen herself would be completely shocked to find her advisers have used tax havens in which to invest their money and that her reputation has been sullied by the actions of the tax advisers".
A number of firms were targeted for investment, including Vision Capital Partners, a private equiry firm which had purchased BrightHouse two-months prior.
The Dover Street VI fund closed December 2014 and has sold off its holdings and remunerated investors since, although based on available data it's unclear what the Duchy has received - although a June 2008 letter included in the leak shows the Duchy was entitled to US$361,367, on which it paid - 0.4 percent (US$1,505) tax. Per the documents, some of the money was invested in a fund that ended up contributing to BrightHouse, a chain with an alleged history of irresponsible lending, and liquor store chain Threshers, which went belly-up in 2010 after owing £17.5 million in United Kingdom taxes. At the time of initial investment, June 2004, the fund was based in Bermuda - by 2006, it had hopped to Guernsey, another tax haven.
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The duchy claimed that it was unaware of its £3,000 stake in BrightHouse, which was purchased 12 years ago, while large sums were also invested into off-license chain Treshers, which has since closed down. The fund did not pay tax on its income or gains until 2016.
To a query at the CBI conference on Monday about whether the Queen should say sorry for making overseas investments or not, Corbyn replied that anyone putting money into tax havens for the purposes of avoidance should "not just apologise for it, recognise what it does to our society". "The queen's personal wealth and investments mean she has a direct interest in government decisions about tax". The Queen's role as Head of State of so many leading secrecy jurisdictions puts her in a highly compromised position. However, it raises questions about whether the British monarch should be investing in offshore finance.
He blasted PM Theresa May's refusal to commit to introducing a public register of who owns offshore companies and trusts in British tax havens or to opening a public inquiry into tax avoidance.
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