The Prince of Wales is once again receiving grief over the tax status of the Duchy of Cornwall.
The Public Accounts Committee has recently published a report on the Duchy of Cornwall estates accounts.
Member of the PAC, Margaret Hodge MP is inquiring into the tax arrangement the Duchy has. Hodge seems to feel it has an unfair advantage.
“If you’re letting property to a Holiday Inn in Reading or to Waitrose to run a big depot on an industrial estate, are the terms of that enabling other competitors in that market to compete on an equal and level playing field?” Hodge commented to Sky News.
The Estate feels they do not hold “competitive advantage,” a spokesperson for The Duchy told Sky News.
“The Duke of Cornwall’s income is taxed at income tax rates. The Duchy is not subject to corporation tax and the Duchy is not a corporation,” A Duchy of Cornwall spokesperson told ITV.
The Duchy which was created by King Edward III in 1337 provides income to the heir to the throne.
The Duke of Cornwall is exempt from income taxes, but he has chosen to pay taxes since 1993.
“Although The Duchy is exempt from Capital Gains Tax the Duchy’s Capital Gains have to be reinvested in the business and cannot be distributed. It is thus likely that no significant Capital Gains tax would be payable as a result of normal business tax exemptions,” according to The Duchy of Cornwall website.
Hodge feels the Treasury does not have proper scrutiny in terms of the Duchy’s finances. “Greater transparency is needed.”
The Duchy of Cornwall Estate commented on Hodge’s allegations, “We will carefully consider the content of the report and will contribute as necessary to any response by the Treasury. As we explained in the hearing, we do not believe the Duchy has an unfair tax advantage over its competitors,”