United Kingdom

Billionaire boss of money transfer group Wise fined

The billionaire boss of money transfer group Wise has been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds for intentionally defaulting on his taxes. 

Kristo Kaarmann was charged £365,651 by HMRC for a deliberate default during 2017/18 on a £720,495 tax bill, the Telegraph reported. 

This type of penalty means the Estonian entrepreneur has either been found to have deliberately provided inaccurate documents to HMRC, intentionally failed to comply with an obligation to notify HMRC about his circumstances or committed wrongdoing in relation to VAT or excise. 

Hit hard: Kristo Kaarmann was charged £365,651 by HMRC for a deliberate default during 2017/18 on a £720,495 tax bill

The tax troubles have been revealed after Kaarmann, 41, led Wise through a bumper stock market debut in London in July. 

It was the London Stock Exchange's biggest technology float and the company is worth more than £11billion. 

The debacle may raise questions about his status as a 'fit and proper' senior manager of a company that specialises in financial services. 

A spokesman for Kaarmann, who is Estonia's richest man, said: 'Kristo was late submitting his personal tax returns for the 2017/18 tax year, despite sufficient reminders from HMRC. 

'His tax returns have since been completed, and he paid substantial late filing penalties. 

'He has since devoted more time to keeping his personal admin in order.' 

Kaarmann was included in a list published by HMRC, which relates to deliberate defrauders who have been dealt with using civil proceedings, not criminal proceedings. HMRC cannot release any further details about the case.

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