(Photo by: Reuters)
British and German investigators are taking a closer look at Brookfield Aviation International, which is at the centre of a tax evasion allegations. Brookfield, based in Surrey, is alleged to be supplying half of the pilots used by Ryanair, which is based in Dublin, Ireland.
The investigation is coming from two angles, with German prosecutors put on to the company in 2010 when an anonymous report alleged Brookfield was a ‘letterbox company’ for Ryanair. German investigators notified UK authorities in 2011 that Brookfield’s relationship with Ryanair’s pilots was “pseudo self-employment, even under British law”. The Germans suspected Brookfield was evading income tax and social security payments for its German aircrew.
HMRC is conducting its own investigation, and has “issued ‘protective assessments’ for £47m relating to British income tax and national insurance contributions between 2010 and 2013,” according to The Times. HMRC told Brookfield that it failed to believe that pilots “had any genuine right of substitution”, meaning it was not possible for Brookfield to appoint a substitute pilot with an airline and pay for that pilot. The non-ministerial department that is responsible for the collection of taxes said that Brookfield should have paid PAYE tax and National Insurance on the pilots’ payments.
The original article can be found at ibtimes.co.uk