Take That's Gary Barlow Vows to Settle U.K. Tax Issues

"I want to apologize to anyone who was offended by the tax stories earlier this year"

British music star Gary Barlow, known as a member of Take That and as a solo performer, has said on Twitter that he is working on settling U.K. tax issues.

British media earlier this year reported that such stars as Barlow, Michael Caine, George Michael, David Beckham and others had contributed to investment vehicles that the British authorities argue are tax shelters for high net-worth individuals.

"With a new team of accountants, we are working to settle things with all parties involved ASAP," Barlow, a former judge on the U.K. version of The X Factor, tweeted.

"I want to apologize to anyone who was offended by the tax stories earlier this year," he said before adding a career update. "We have been working since the New Year on a new Take That studio album, and we are extremely excited about it! It has been four long years since the last one."

The Telegraph cited previous reports that Barlow and two other members of Take That, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, invested at least $42.8 million (£26 million) in a scheme that the tax authorities have targeted. It quoted representatives for the band members as saying they paid significant taxes and felt the vehicle was a way to invest in legitimate commercial enterprises. 

The paper said the U.K. tax authority is looking to close the scheme at a tribunal this November, as the British government has been trying to close loopholes to increase tax revenue.

The schemes being targeted are currently legal, but Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Service has said it will challenge them, as they have reduced the taxes paid by wealthy individuals by allowing them to offset other income with losses reported by the schemes.

Representatives for most of the celebrities reported to have invested in possible tax avoidance schemes have declined to comment or said they didn't do anything wrong. U.K. comedian Jimmy Carr in 2012 apologized on Twitter after it was discovered that he used a tax scheme.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai