HMRC has filed a High Court lawsuit against EY over alleged misrepresentations to the UK tax authority in relation to British property investor Jamie Ritblat’s tax affairs.
The case relates to a broader dispute between HMRC and the Tory donor over taxes on £141m in profits from Ritblat’s Delancey property investment firm, the Financial Times first reported.
Ritblat claims a £400 settlement paid to HMRC in 2015 blocks the agency from collecting further taxes on £141m of Delancey’s profits paid into an employee benefit trust.
However, HMRC has claimed it agreed to the £400 settlement deal due to misrepresentations made by Delancey and his advisors EY.
An HMRC spokesperson said: “Misrepresentations were made to us in 2015. Clearly, had appropriate disclosures been made, the settlement agreement would not have been entered into.”
HMRC filed the High Court claim on 28 July 2022, public records show. An EY spokesperson confirmed HMRC had filed the claim to court but told City A.M. the claim had not yet been served against EY in the UK.
The EY spokesperson said it would be “inappropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings” but said the firm strongly refutes “any suggestion of wrongdoing” and vowed to “vigorously defend the claim”.
Jamie Ritblat – the son of former British Land owner Sir John Ritblat – founded Delancey in 1995, through which he later bought London’s Olympic Village in 2011 via a joint-venture with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
City A.M. approached Delancey for comment.