Ex HMRC tax inspector hired by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay
The TV celebrity chef has hired a former taxman from HM Revenue & Customs who was involved in a 2 ½ year enquiry into Ramsey’s personal tax affairs…
Opposed to his fiery mouthed portrayal in the media there must be a softer side to the celebrity chef, as Trevor James was appointed to director of Gordon Ramsay Holdings on 17 August 2011.
In his new position as ‘Compliance Director’ the former taxman will be ensuring that all of Ramsay’s company policies and procedures meet regulatory requirements.
James was chief interrogator during the Revenue’s review of the TV chef’s finances back in 2005; that found no evidence of financial wrongdoing in 2007.
During the tax investigation Ramsay publicly complained about how HMRC had abused his ‘human rights’.
In his 2008 autobiography, Playing With Fire, Ramsay describes the time as ‘a journey through space, where indignation changes to affront, to outrage, to screaming blue murder’.
Not forgotten, ex taxman James was featured in the TV chef’s autobiography under the name ‘Mr Delve’:
“Mr Delve was the junior interrogator, and Mr Sifter sat quietly, legs apart, taking the occasional note.
“The former [Mr Delve] asked if I was familiar with the work of the SCO. I replied that I wasn’t, and felt like asking him if he was familiar with the difference between blue and yellowfin tuna.”
Despite notes of sarcasm in the book, Ramsey praises James for his investigative techniques during the tax investigation; which may have been the attribute that got him the job.
The TV celebrity chef, who has built up an impressive empire of worldwide restaurants over the last 12 years, has been targeted more than once by HMRC.
In 2009, Ramsay appeared in High Court for unpaid tax on his ‘Plane Food’ restaurant, located at Terminal 5 in London Heathrow’s airport.
The restaurant’s outstanding tax bill of £7.2m was begrudgingly paid to the Revenue by the celebrity chef.
Two further appeals into Ramsay’s restaurants by HMRC have been disregarded.
Commenting on James’s new position within the Gordon Ramsay business empire, a spokesman for HMRC, said:
“There are rules around the acceptance of external posts by civil servants to guarantee propriety.”
With an ex-taxman now in his ranks, Ramsay will hopefully avoid any future run-ins with HMRC.
Unless he is adopting the tactic of ‘keep your friends close, but your enemies closer’.
Have you received a letter from HMRC opening a tax enquiry into your affairs?