Smythson, the upmarket stationer where Samantha Cameron works as a highly paid “creative consultant”, has upped sticks from the UK for Luxembourg, one of Europe’s biggest tax shelters.
Company filings have revealed that Smythson, where the prime minister’s wife has worked for nearly two decades is owned through a complex structure of trusts in Luxembourg and the Channel Islands.
This arrangement is likely to have helped the leather goods business, where a python-skin handbag will set well-heeled customers back £2,000, to avoid UK taxes. According to filings, the ownership of Holdsmyth, the parent company of Smythson, was transferred in 2009 to Greenwill SA, a Luxembourg incorporated vehicle.
The accounts state: “The immediate and ultimate holding company is Greenwill SA, a company incorporated in Luxembourg. The company is ultimately controlled by Ogier Trustee (Jersey) Limited as Trustees of The Barracuda Trust, a trust settled in Guernsey.
“It demonstrates yet again why the government’s rhetoric on tax avoidance is not matched with action”.