Nadhim Zahawi confirms almost £5 million paid for tax error

image Caption, Nadhim Zahawi is standing as MP in the next election

Former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has told the BBC he paid almost £5 million to authorities to settle his tax affairs.

Mr Zahawi was sacked as Tory party chairman last year after an ethics investigation found he had failed to disclose that HMRC was investigating his taxes.

He said on the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show that he regretted not being “more clear” in his ministerial announcement on the agreement.

But he insisted HMRC had found it was a non-deliberate, “reckless” mistake.

Mr Zahawi was sacked in January last year after an investigation by the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser found he had failed to disclose that his tax affairs were being investigated by HMRC.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said at the time that the investigation had made it clear there had been “serious breaches of the ministerial code”.

The controversy over Mr Zahawi’s taxes began after it emerged he had struck a multi-million pound tax settlement with HMRC in 2022 while he was chancellor.

This related to the allocation of shares in YouGov, which he had founded before becoming an MP.

Rishi Sunak asked a top adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, to investigate, and Sir Laurie found that Mr Zahawi had been in contact with HMRC over his taxes since April 2021, reaching a settlement in August 2022 and a settlement in September 2022. Finalized.

But they found that Mr. Zahawi had not done enough to announce it within the government, and had failed to speak openly publicly about what was going on.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Mr Zahawi – who is standing as MP for Stratford-upon-Avon in the next election – said the total he paid to settle the issue was ” was just under £5 million”.

“As I said in my retirement letter, my mistakes are my own,” he said.

“I regret that when I had my settlement with HMRC two years ago, I probably should have been more clear in the details in the ministerial announcement as to how the settlement came to be, and that is my own fault.”

He added: “HMRC found that this was not intentional, it was a careless mistake.”

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