A government adviser charged with ensuring taxpayers get value for money from public investments is embroiled in an alleged tax-avoidance scheme being pursued by HM Revenue and Customs.
Anthony Odgers is deputy chief executive of the Shareholder Executive, a part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) that offers corporate finance advice to government ministers.
Odgers was a member of the Ingenious Media investment portfolio when he was appointed by ministers in 2010. He has since left the controversial scheme.
HMRC is pursuing all 1,300 members of the investment plan, past and present, for unpaid tax bills that could run to millions of pounds – demanding the cash up front even when cases are being taken to tribunal. The clawback has been heavily criticised, with City MP Mark Field calling it “wholly wrong”. Other investors include Dame Clara Furse of the Bank of England’s financial policy committee, and Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica.
A BIS spokesperson said last night: “Anthony Odgers is no longer a partner. His investment pre-dated him joining government in 2010 from Deutsche Bank and was fully disclosed to the tax authorities from the outset.”
As deputy chief exec Odgers is tasked with providing “high level strategic direction” to the Shareholder Executive.