Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly 'threatened with tax crackdown'

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly ‘are among celebs threatened with tax crackdown which could cost them a fortune’

  • According to new reports, the TV veterans, both 44, pay their earnings into their respective companies Deecourt Limited and Teecourt Limited 
  • The duo will have paid 19% corporation tax but won’t have to pay income tax unless they pay it to themselves, which could delay and reduce a £12 million bill
  • In March, ITV handed new contracts to The Golden Four that ensure their pay packets weren’t affected when new tax rules started the following month 
  • Earlier this year, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hinted at changes to how self-employed people are taxed once the pandemic dies down 

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are reportedly among the celebrities being threatened with a crackdown on their tax affairs as they channel their fortunes through limited companies and use themselves as the directors and shareholders. 

According to new reports, the TV veterans, both 44, pay their earnings, which are believed to total almost £48 million in cash and investments, into their respective companies Deecourt Limited and Teecourt Limited. 

The duo will have paid 19% corporation tax but won’t have to pay income tax – which stands at 45% for those who earn over £150,000 a year – unless they pay it to themselves, which could delay and reduce a whopping £12 million bill. 

New claims: Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are reportedly among the celebrities being threatened with a crackdown on their tax affairs

The latest accounts of TV star Dec’s company is said to hold £10.6 million in cash and £16.3 million in investments, while his sidekick’s business has £9.3 million in cash and £11.6 million in assets. 

In April, presenter Ant filed paperwork to cease trading with his company after finalising his divorce from Lisa Armstrong. 

The media personalities’ beneficial tax planning is permitted and there is no suggestion they are breaking laws.

The manager of one star, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Mirror: ‘He has made no money so far this year and I am not looking at booking shows until April.

Business savvy: According to new reports, the TV veterans, both 44, pay their earnings into their respective companies Deecourt Limited and Teecourt Limited

Saving: The duo will have paid 19% corporation tax but won’t have to pay income tax unless they pay it to themselves, which could delay and reduce a whopping £12 million bill

‘The limited company allows us to smooth out the bumps on the road. This is all totally transparent and within the rules.’

X Factor star Olly Murs currently serves as the sole director and shareholder of ICYDK Limited, which owns £1.6 million in cash and just over £8 million in assets, while his other company YDKL Limited has £5.3 million in assets. 

Broadcaster Jack Whitehall, meanwhile, plays the same roles for his business Jackboot Productions Limited, which features nearly half a million in cash and almost £7 million in investments. 

Accounts also showed funnyman Russell Howard’s Skylarking UK Limited has acquired £3.7million in cash while Noel Fielding’s company Fantasy Man Limited boasts £980,000 in cash.

End of the road: In April, presenter Ant filed paperwork to cease trading with his company after finalising his divorce from Lisa Armstrong (pictured)

‘We must all pay in equally in future’: Earlier this year, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hinted at changes to how self-employed people are taxed once the pandemic dies down

Recent figures for singer Sam Smith’s eponymous company state there is £7.1 million in cash – up from £2.7 million last year, while former Arsenal man­­ager Arsene Wenger, 70, is believed to have £6.8 million in LAA Promotions Limited.

Last year, comedian Katherine Ryan received £10,000 in director’s salary from her company Kath­­bum Limited as well as £1.75 million in dividends, with the company being left with £647,000 in cash. 

The TV stars would have already paid over £1 million in extra cash if they’re registered as PAYE employees or had declared their income under the self-assessment scheme. 

In the future, they could wait for tax cuts or even move to countries that would allow them to pay themselves the cash without tax.


Fortune: Last year, comedian Katherine Ryan’s (L) company was left with company being left with £647,000 in cash, while Sam Smith’s holds £7.1 million in cash

Impressive: X Factor star Olly Murs currently serves as the sole director and shareholder of ICYDK Limited, which owns £1.6 million in cash and just over £8 million in assets

At the moment, public figures could pay the cash in smaller sums over a number of years to benefit from lower tax bands, or cash could be taken out as dividends with lower tax rates.   

In March, ITV handed lucrative new contracts to top presenters dubbed ‘The Golden Four’ that ensure their pay packets weren’t affected when fresh tax rules started the following month.  

Ant and Dec were understood to have a signed a new golden handcuffs deal with the network which is worth in the region of £40 million over three years following interest from streaming giant Amazon.

This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby had also renegotiated deals ahead of the revised HMRC policy that stops employees being paid as a freelancer if they are conducting regular work. 

Wealthy: Broadcaster Jack Whitehall, meanwhile, plays the same roles for his business Jackboot Productions Limited, which features nearly half a million in cash

Top-earner: Noel Fielding’s company Fantasy Man Limited boasts £980,000 in cash

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hinted at changes to how self-employed people are taxed once the pandemic dies down.

The politician said during a press conference earlier this year: ‘I must be honest and point out that in devising this scheme in response to many calls for support, it is now much harder to justify the inconsistent contributions between people of different employment statuses. 

‘If we all want to benefit from state support, we must all pay in equally in future.’

MP and chairman of the Treasury Select Committee Mel Stride has called on the Government to bail out the ‘forgotten million’ people locked out of coronavirus support packages. 

He said during the launch of the Tax After Coronavirus inquiry last month, according to The Mirror: ‘There has been a rapid expansion in the number of people operating on their own, through their own company, as opposed to, for example, the numbers that are operating through their own company and employing others.

‘And all that is fairly suggestive of this being done largely for reasons of tax benefits. And the Chancellor actually when he brought in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme did make a nod in this direction. 

‘He kind of said, “look I’m going to help out the self-employed but there will come a point where I will be looking to you for something”. I think that paraphrases the approach he took.’ 

Tax expert Rebecca Seeley Harris also highlighted that directors of ‘personal service companies were exempt from the help self-employed people can claim during the lockdown. 

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Ant McPartlin, Declan Donnelly, Katherine Ryan, Sam Smith, Arsene Wenger, Olly Murs, Jack Whitehall, Russell Howard and Noel Fielding for further comment. 

The Golden Four, In March, ITV handed new contracts to Ant, Dec, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, to ensure their pay packets weren’t affected when new tax rules started

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