Matalan tax case
Matalan’s billionaire boss John Hargreaves battles £84m tax bill by claiming Residency in Monaco
John Hargreaves, who founded the Matalan fashion chain, is battling an £84m tax bill by claiming that he lived in Monaco at the time of the bill.
In May, 2001, Hargreaves and his partner sold shares in Matalan that netted £200 million.
HM Revenue and Customs says he was a “resident” in Britain when the deal happened – and yesterday, the matter went to the Tax Tribunal.
Hargreaves, 72, claimed that his main residence at the time was a luxury hotel suite in Monaco, although he flew back to Britain more than 40 times in the 2000-01 tax year.
Hargreaves claims that when he left the UK, it was his “settled purpose to live abroad permanently’’. After living in a hotel suite in Monaco, he re-located to a yacht in the harbour before moving into a rented apartment.
HMRC first demanded £84 million in capital gains and income tax back in 2007, but Mr Hargreaves has been battling the demand ever since.
John Hargreaves was born in Everton. The middle of eight children all sharing one bedroom in a Liverpool terrace house, Hargreaves left school at 14, worked at a Greatie market stall when he was 16, and opened the first Matalan store in 1985.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Hargreaves is now the country’s 84th wealthiest person with an estimated fortune of £1 billion.
When he is needed at the company’s head offices, he travels by private jet from the Monaco home he currently shares with his wife.
In 2007, Mr Hargreaves resigned as chairman of Matalan and his son became Matalan chief executive in 2013.
Mr Hargreaves is adamant about his move to Monaco in March, 2000.