In what is commonly regarded as a ‘Golden era’ of British stand-up comedy, 39 year-old Jimmy Carr is, by general consent, one of the leading performers on the circuit. His deadpan delivery and ‘close-to-the-bone’ satire has allowed the comic, who is also a familiar presence on various television and radio programmes, to become a household name, and to amass a multi-million pound fortune.
Unfortunately, as a result of revelations concerning his use of this wealth, few people are laughing along with Mr. Carr at present. Following a Times newspaper investigation, he has emerged as the single largest beneficiary of ‘K2’, a Jersey-based tax scheme allegedly used by wealthy individuals to reduce their income tax liability to roughly 1%. The revelations have drawn stinging criticism from many quarters, reigniting the debate over tax avoidance and the perception of the richest members of society not ‘paying their fair share’.