MAYORAL candidate Ken Livingstone saved over £75,000 in tax by channelling some of his earnings through a company, according to new research.
The figures, prepared for Taxation magazine by TolleyGuidance, suggest that by channelling some of his earnings through a private firm Livingstone paid £77,790 less tax during the three years to June 2011 compared to if he had been self-employed.
There is no suggestion that Livingstone committed an illegal act but he has repeatedly campaigned against tax avoidance.
“The tax planning which Ken Livingstone undertook is straightforward, and would be recommended by most advisers. Many have been taken aback by the fact that Ken has pursued options that he has condemned others for,” said Mike Truman, editor of Taxation magazine.
“His actions rather make the point that the tax system allows such behaviour so that individuals can plan efficiently. Some may be surprised that Boris Johnson appears not to have done something similar.”
A recent ComRes poll found that 48 per cent of voters said revelations over Livingstone’s tax arrangements made them less likely to trust him.