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Zahawi admits he paid settlement after HMRC disagreed with allocation of shares

The Tory party chairman insisted his tax error was ‘careless and not deliberate’.

21 January 2023

Nadhim Zahawi has admitted he paid a tax settlement after HM Revenue & Customs disagreed with the allocation of founder shares his father took when he set up YouGov.

The Tory party chairman released a statement on Saturday to “address some of the confusion about my finances” after reports that he paid a penalty as part of a multimillion-pound tax settlement.

Mr Zahawi said that when he set up the YouGov polling company 22 years ago, his father took founder shares.

He added: “When I was being appointed chancellor of the Exchequer, questions were being raised about my tax affairs. I discussed this with the Cabinet Office at the time.

“Following discussions with HMRC, they agreed that my father was entitled to founder shares in YouGov, though they disagreed about the exact allocation. They concluded that this was a ‘careless and not deliberate’ error.

“So that I could focus on my life as a public servant, I chose to settle the matter and pay what they said was due, which was the right thing to do.

“Additionally, HMRC agreed with my accountants that I have never set up an offshore structure, including Balshore Investments, and that I am not the beneficiary of Balshore Investments.”

Mr Zahawi said the matter was resolved and “all my tax affairs were up to date” when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appointed him as party chairman.

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