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Man Utd legend Andy Cole sues Coutts over tax avoidance scheme

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Man Utd legend Andy Cole sues Coutts over tax avoidance scheme

Former Manchester United football star Andy Cole is suing Coutts for 'substantial' losses linked to a tax avoidance scheme. 

According to The Sun, the former striker (pictured) invested in the region of £8 million in film investment schemes promoted by Coutts in a bid to reduce his tax burden.

Cole, 47, also played for England before hanging up his boots in 2008. He spent six years at Manchester United, scoring 121 goals and helping the Red Devils win numerous trophies including the Premier League on five occasions and the Champions League.

He is thought to be one of 17 footballers suing the private bank and other companies on grounds of suffering 'substantial losses'.

Coutts is expected to fight the claim.

A spokesperson for the group said: 'We do not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.'  

Film investment schemes were introduced by former chancellor Gordon Brown in 1997 and attracted thousands of wealthy and famous investors looking to reduce their tax bills. Last June a list of 100 celebrities who used the Ingenious scheme was revealed. 

However, new legislation was introduced in 2014 as the tax office looked to claw back millions in unpaid tax.

That year Coutts wrote to clients warning them about a potential HMRC probe.  

'Coutts historically provided tax advice to some clients in respect to a number of genuine film financing arrangements,' the bank wrote at the time. 

'The relevant risks were prominently highlighted and where appropriate it was made clear that there was a risk to a HMRC challenge.'

The following year a number of high profile investors launched legal action against Coutts, alongside Ingenious, HSBC and UBS  for putting them into these schemes. 

Cole is not the only footballer to take the Queen's bank to court this year. 

In March, Wealth Manager  revealed that ex-Liverpool star Danny Murphy and former Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage were among a host of footballers the sued the bank over a 'joint enterprise' property scheme. 

The footballers ultimately lost the battle after failing to prove that Coutts had not carried out proper checks on the scheme.  

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