I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for the pesky fourth estate, by Nadhim Zahawi

author avatar by 1 year ago
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Paying a fine to HMRC for trying to hide money offshore is just part and parcel of being rich in this country, and that’s what the poor people and the fourth estate simply don’t understand.

All they see is “rich man tries to hide his millions from the tax man” and suddenly I’m the bad guy. What they fail to realise is that after being pursued by the tax man I actually paid what was owed AND a big fine – the taxpayer is actually UP in this whole saga – yet STILL I am portrayed as the bad guy in this saga. In reality, I am the VICTIM.

I blame the press. The fourth estate in this country seems determined to bring down any successful entrepreneur who has accidentally hidden £27m offshore in a trust designed to avoid tax. It’s a simple mistake, one that was discovered by the authorities and corrected by me with the necessary punitive payment included – it could have happened to anyone with £27m that they would prefer to see left untaxed.

But no, the vengeful fourth estate seems determined to ‘make an example’ of me. They seem to believe that stopping millionaires from avoiding millions of pounds in tax that would otherwise find its way into the nation’s coffers would make any difference whatsoever to the life of the man on the street. Obviously it wouldn’t. Just because the tax I reluctantly paid, including the fine, is enough to pay the salaries of almost 150 nurses is irrelevant.

Something that poor people often don’t realise is that being very rich is extremely complicated. Looking after lots of money is very difficult, so obviously there will be a few minor oversights along the way. You might have forgotten about that pound coin down the back of the sofa, and I forgot about the “tax-efficient” family trust I created to siphon £27m away from our shores. It’s basically the same thing.

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Well, now that I’ve been sacked by the prime minister, I hope the fourth estate is happy. I could have been sat in my office today leading the charge towards an election victory for the Tories in 2024, but instead, I am at home reading stories in the press about how the Tory party seems to be full of greedy narcissists who believe the rules they make are for the ‘other people’.

I hope you’re all happy.