Duchy may have to pay tax
QUESTIONS have been raised over the whether the Prince of Wales should pay tax on the duchy of Cornwall.
Prince Charles, whose Highgrove estate is near Tetbury, could face an investigation by HMRC.
Currently he does not have to claim corporation tax on his £700million hereditary estate in Cornwall – which brought in £18million last year.
But there are now calls for the revenue service's anti-avoidance group to examine the non-payment following a court ruling on its legal status.
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The issue has been raised by an accountant investigating the tax affairs of the duchy – an agricultural, commercial and residential landowner.
The duchy insisted it is not subject to corporation tax as it is not a separate legal entity for tax purposes. But John Angel, principal judge at the information rights tribunal, ruled last December it was a separate legal body.
Accountants believe the ruling could leave the duchy exposed to the 24 per cent levy on profits other organisations must pay. Any change to its tax status could result in a cut to the prince's income.
A spokesman for HMRC said it would evaluate the information and "take appropriate action".