Paradise Papers: Celtic majority shareholder’s firm used offshore tax haven

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The company owned by billionaire majority shareholder of Celtic FC avoided taxes using an offshore tax haven, according to leaked documents.

Dermot Desmond’s company, Execujet, based in Switzerland, is believed to have avoided paying up to £1m in Swiss taxes over three years.

Dermot Desmond

Dermot Desmond

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The leaked papers showed the company signed up a law firm to open a company on the Isle of Man in 2012 in order to avoid Swiss taxes.

There is no suggestion the Irish businessman did anything illegal. Mr Desmond said he strongly denied his former company avoided tax.

He told the BBC it was “tax and regulatory compliant in all jurisdictions in operated in”.

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Tax expert Philip Simpson QC told the BBC that the scheme appeared to an “aggressive avoidance arrangement”.