Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave could be in hot water with the taxman after a ruling over a controversial “tax avoidance” scheme.
Sir Steve, 58, is among dozens of investors in the Business Premises Renovation Allowance.
It allowed local authorities in Scotland to save money on rejuvenating deprived communities.
But it also enabled dozens of people to cut their tax bills.
HMRC has won a legal challenge at the Upper Tribunal against Inverclyde Property Renovation LLP and Clackmannanshire Regeneration LLP.
The ruling could see the taxman claw back £2billion from various similar schemes.
There is no suggestion five-times Olympic rowing gold medallist Sir Steve is involved in any wrongdoing.
After he retired in 2000, he admitted there was “no money” in the sport, and said he might have to sell his house to make ends meet in old age.
He is now the performance director of China’s rowing team and lives with his osteopath wife Ann, 60, in Marlow, Bucks.
Tax planning company Valhalla, which administers the BPRA schemes, said the legitimacy of members’ claims for tax relief under “non-aggressive” BPRAs had yet to be ruled upon.
Inverclyde council said the scheme saved taxpayers money.
Clackmannanshire council said its scheme was “legitimate”.
A HMRC spokesman said: “This decision is one example of the way tax avoidance scheme users will try to avoid payment.”
Sir Steve was not available for comment yesterday.