Bernie Ecclestone is trying to wriggle out of a £1bn tax bill

F1 tycoon is going to court to challenge the bill

Can you imagine earning so much your tax bill is £1bn?

That’s the situation facing Bernie Ecclestone, the billionaire boss of Formula 1.

Ecclestone owes HMRC the money which covers tax from the period between 1996 and 2006 and interest, but has applied for permission to seek a judicial review.

Back in 2008, HMRC made an agreement with Ecclestone and he paid back some of the money. However, the court later wrote to him saying he had withheld information which made the agreement invalid.

HMRC looked began looking into the F1 boss again last year after allegations he bribed a German banker to keep accounts he held in Lichtenstein hidden from UK tax authorities.

Ecclestone said he was not worried about the developments, telling BBC Sport: “The lawyers are dealing with it. That’s why it’s in court. It’s very technical.”

Forbes values Ecclestone at $3.9bn, so the bill is likely to take a chunk out of his finances. No doubt the 84-year old is wishing he hadn’t hidden it and just paid it fairly at the time.

Now, we’re not telling Bernie what to do but if it were, we’d just hand the money over and struggle by on the other billions.

It’s not like the state couldn’t do with an extra £1bn at the moment. Just saying.


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Readers' comments (3)

  • Bernie you are in your mid 80's, have $3.9 billion (ok its only $ but...) you are going to have to work pretty hard to spend it all before the grim reaper comes knocking. So why bother fighting, spend your time enjoying the remaining $2 billion!

    PS I suspect you don't even have enough time to count it all!

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  • Never mind paying the tax bill - hiding income from HMRC is a criminal offence, so let's see this nasty horrible sour-faced creep in the dock and then banged up in choky for the rest of his days.

    How many schools, hospitals and nurses is this tax-dodging criminal thief withholding from the British people?

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  • Bernie just pay the bill, everyone knows you owe it, it's all a power game to you, have you thought of the damage YOU are doing to F1.

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