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Lewis Hamilton accused of ‘dodging VAT on private jet’

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton avoided paying VAT on his £16.5m private jet, according to leaked Paradise Papers documents.

The 32-year-old is said to have received a £3.3m refund for the Bombardier Challenger 605, which he imported into the Isle of Man in 2013 to dodge a 20% VAT charge.

Hamilton’s lawyers insists that a tax barrister review found the structure was lawful, however, as the F1 ace – who won his fourth world title last week – did not circumnavigate the rules.

“As a global sportsman who pays tax in a large number of countries, Lewis relies upon a team of professional advisers who manage his affairs,” BBC Sport quotes one of his representatives as saying.

“Those advisers have assured Lewis that everything is above board and the matter is now in the hands of his lawyers.”

Hamilton planned to use the jet for business purposes, but BBC Sport has obtained documents suggesting that the Mercedes driver intended to make private flights a third of the time.

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