Deutsche Bank and UBS lose bonus tax case

Tax avoidance schemes by major multinational companies in Britain have become highly politically sensitive in recent years (File Photo: AFP)

Offshore schemes operated by UBS and Deutsche Bank in a bid to avoid paying income tax on bankers’ bonuses are not exempt from tax, the Supreme Court in London ruled Wednesday.

British tax authorities, who brought the court action, said the schemes set up by the Swiss and German banks dating back to 2003 and 2004 were designed to avoid around £135 million (174 million euros, $192 million) in tax.

Under the schemes, bankers were given bonuses in the form of shares in specially created companies rather than cash.

Robert Reed, one of the five senior judges hearing the case, referred to such schemes as “the most sophisticated attempts of the Houdini taxpayer to escape from the manacles of tax”.

He added: “In our society, a great deal of intellectual effort is devoted to tax avoidance.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 12:04 - GMT 09:04