Mrs Brown's tax avoiders

Mrs Brown’s Boys stars have been caught up in the Paradise Papers tax scandal

Three 'Mrs Brown's Boys' cast members have been named in leaked Paradise Papers documents, after allegedly donating upwards of £2 million into a tax-avoidance scheme.

Documents from the newly-leaked Paradise Papers reportedly reveal how stars Patrick Houlihan, Fiona Delany, and Martin Delany transferred their fees to companies in Mauritius before sending money back as loans.

In official guidance issued in 2016, HMRC said it would investigate and challenge such practices. The other actors have not yet commented.

Mr Houlihan told he Irish Times he joined the scheme after receiving professional advice without fully understanding it.

The legal scheme appears to be similar to the kind used by the comedian Jimmy Carr, which was exposed by The Times in 2012.

Richard Bilton from Panorama approached Fiona O'Carroll with questions about the apparent tax dodge but O'Carroll declined to respond, telling the reporter "I don't even know who you are".

At the time, Carr's tax dealings were described as "morally wrong" by Prime Minister David Cameron, before he subsequently withdrew from the scheme.

Their fees came from a production company owned by the show's leading star and creator Brendan O'Carroll, who stipulated to BBC News that neither he nor his companies have been involved in any tax avoidance schemes.

O'Carroll said neither he nor his companies have been involved in a tax avoidance scheme or structure and the actors' wages were paid into a United Kingdom company bank account.

Mr O'Carroll's production company is registered at accountant Mr Lyness's office in Oldbury in the West Midlands. Mr Lyness told the BBC he was unable to "divulge confidential information concerning my clients" financial affairs'. Patrick Houlihan is one of the boys - Dermot.

Mr Lyness also does the accounts for the Mrs Brown's Boys global operation - but Brendan O'Carroll, who plays Mrs Brown, did not use the Mauritius scheme. There is also a successful stage show which tours the world.

They're portrayed as a bunch of "feckin' eejits" in the hit comedy Mrs Brown's Boys.

The Paradise Papers are a huge batch of leaked documents sent to a German newspaper, which then became the subject of an enormous, global investigation headed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The stars - Patrick Houlihan, Martin Delany and Fiona Delany - reportedly diverted £2million through the offshore scheme. No figures are available for Paddy Houlihan, as his company's accounts for that period are not in the data.

However Mr O'Carroll's daughter, Fiona O'Carroll, who plays Maria and her husband, Martin Delany, who plays Trevor, have been named as members of the scheme.

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