Gary Barlow admits tax avoidance scheme was 'one of most stupid things I’ve done'

Laura Hannam
Reporter
Gary Barlow opened up about his infamous tax avoidance controversy. (REX/Shutterstock)

Gary Barlow opened up about his infamous tax avoidance controversy in a telling interview.

Speaking to The Sun the 47-year-old Take That member admitted it was the ‘stupidest thing I’ve ever done.’

Barlow, who took part in a 2014 tax shelter scheme with fellow band mates Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jonathan Wild, reportedly invested up to £66 million in a music investment scheme that enabled them to avoid paying full taxes.

All four were ordered to pay £20 million back in taxes to HM Revenue and Customs in 2016.

Barlow told The Sun he was most concerned with how his tax dodging was received by his Take That fans.

“I’d never had anything so serious before. This was like, it was time to grow up. The thing was for me and my main concern is always our audience. “

Gary Barlow with Mark Owen and Howard Donald. (PA Images)

“I just thought, you know what, this is simple. What we’ve got to do is get out of here as quickly as possible and pay whatever we need to pay. Simple as that, job done,” Barlow said.

Barlow was awarded an OBE in 2012, and there were rumours in 2014 that it would be stripped following the tax avoidance scandal.

However, he kept his title and even then Prime Minister David Cameron said he should keep his OBE because he has done ‘a huge amount for the country.’

Barlow said he isn’t overly concerned about titles during his The Sun interview.

“Honestly, even before I got an OBE I don’t spend any time thinking about that stuff. For me, as I said earlier, the anchor is music. I’d love to continue.

“It’s about the ambition of what’s next. And awards, honours, they’re something I think most people don’t think about until they happen,” he said.


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