Family of former director of firm that advised Cup Trust 'could make £3.5m'

Charity tribunal hearing hears Matthew Jenner admit that the motivation was to set up a tax-avoidance scheme that would give to charity

Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts of Justice

A former adviser to donors to the tax-avoidance vehicle the Cup Trust has told the charity tribunal that his family and the family of his civil partner stand to make millions if the charity's Gift Aid claims are successful.

Matthew Jenner was giving evidence at a charity tribunal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The hearing concerns an appeal by Mountstar PTC, the corporate trustee of the Cup Trust, against the Charity Commission’s decision in April to open a statutory inquiry into the charity and appoint an interim manager to run its affairs.

The trust collected £176.5m in private donations but had charitable expenditure of just £55,000 over two years. It has submitted Gift Aid claims worth more than £46m.

Jenner, who set up the Cup Trust and was also a director of Mountstar, told the hearing he had been a partner in a firm that advised donors to the Cup Trust. This firm, he said, would receive as fees 2 per cent of the £176m that went through the scheme if the Gift Aid claims were successful, which works out at £3.5m.

But Jenner said he had since stood down from the firm and his family and the family of his civil partner would instead receive the money.

HM Revenue & Customs will not comment on individual cases but has indicated that the Cup Trust’s Gift Aid claims will not be successful.

Asked during the hearing why he had transferred the potential profits to beneficiaries other than himself, Jenner said: "I'm not particularly motivated by money."

He said the motivation for establishing the Cup Trust was to create a tax-avoidance scheme that would benefit a charity. "This one gives the charity a substantial amount of money if it works," he said.

The hearing is due to conclude today.

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