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Nadhim Zahawi ‘paid penalty’ amid £5m tax dispute with HMRC

TORY minister Nadhim Zahawi agreed to pay a penalty as well as settle a multi-million pound tax bill with the HMRC, reports say.

Zahawi, who also serves as the Conservative Party chair and attends Cabinet, paid an estimated £5 million to the tax man after his finances were probed, according to the Guardian.

As part of the settlement, the Tory MP also agreed to pay a penalty, something imposed by the HMRC if the correct tax is not paid at the correct time.

A spokesperson for Zahawi has repeatedly refused to deny that there was a multi-million pound settlement or that a penalty had been imposed.

The settlement was reportedly made in December, which means Zahawi may have had outstanding tax issues while he was serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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The £5m settlement is said to be linked to a failure to pay capital gains tax after the sale of shares in YouGov, the polling firm which he co-founded.

The Guardian reported that some £3.7m had been due in tax after the sale, with a 30% penalty imposed by HMRC as well as interest charges.

Zahawi is believed to be one of the richest men in Westminster, with an estimated net worth of £100m.

The news comes after Labour wrote to the HMRC about Zahawi’s tax affairs, saying the “public requires answers”.

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In the letter, first reported by The Telegraph, deputy leader Angela Rayner (above) said: “I understand that HMRC’s position is that you do not comment on the tax affairs of individuals.

“However, given the public interest in this case as well as the serious questions raised about a potential conflict of interest at the heart of government, the public require answers.

“In particular, there appears to be an element of special treatment directed towards Nadhim Zahawi by HMRC,” she claimed.

A spokesman for Zahawi has said his taxes are “properly declared” and he “has never had to instruct any lawyers to deal with HMRC on his behalf”.

“As he has previously stated, Mr Zahawi’s taxes are properly declared and paid in the UK,” the spokesman said.

The Prime Minister this week said Zahawi “has already addressed this matter in full and there’s nothing more that I can add”.

But Rayner said: “However much the Prime Minister claims the man he appointed Conservative Party Chair has already addressed this matter in full, there are serious and urgent questions that must be answered.”

An HMRC spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on identifiable taxpayers.”

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