The 37-year-old F1 driver is among the wealthiest men on the grid. Therefore, it is obvious that he’ll be having luxurious items like no one else. A few years ago, the Briton race driver purchased a red hot $20million Bombardier jet.
However, soon it landed him in some trouble. In 2017, a report by the Guardian claimed that Hamilton avoided taxes worth $4.1million by applying the Isle of Man scheme.
The scheme later got investigated by the British HM Revenue and Customs. The report mentioned that Hamilton, accountancy firm EY, and Appleby set up “seemingly artificial looking businesses through which they rented their own jets from themselves.” The Mercedes superstar reportedly used companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Isle of Man, and Guernsey to amass $4.1million VAT returned to him when he imported his jet from Canada in 2013.
However, Hamilton claimed he didn’t deliberately avoid these taxes. Instead, his lawyer told him that the arrangement was lawful and “was not concerned with the day-to-day management of his business.” The Guardian also stated that Legitimate tax avoidance schemes are not illegal. However, the experts quoted in the report claimed that the scheme seemed “artificial” and “open to challenge”.
Meanwhile, a few law professors called the scheme ” abusive” and didn’t appear to follow European laws. Now, Hamilton has sold his private jet as he feels it’s environmentally harming and stands against his beliefs. Hamilton has been for long accused of evading taxes. Having his residences earlier in Switzerland and now in Monaco became the focal point of controversy as they are technically (Switzerland not anymore) considered tax-havens.
Moreover, he also appears to have saved taxes on his motorhome for around $1.8million by setting up a company in the Isle of Man and “channels his earnings through tax haven companies in Guernsey, Malta and the BVI.” Veteran boxer Tyson Fury also mocked Hamilton by saying to DailyMail: “Unlike Lewis Hamilton I live and pay taxes which went up to £9 million last year.”
However, Hamilton has always been denying avoiding taxes. In 2014, he claimed: “What people don’t realise is that I pay tax here [in the UK]. But I don’t earn all my money here,” Hamilton said to The Sunday Times back in 2014.
“I race in 19 different countries. So I earn my money in 20 different places, pay taxes in several different places, and pay a lot here. I am contributing to the country and, not only that, I help keep a team of more than 1,000 people employed.”
According to the HMRC statistics published in 2019, Hamilton was among the top 5,000 highest taxpayers in the UK.