Andrew Lloyd-Webber and his wife lost £6m on luxury villas in Barbados when builder went bust leaving £20m pair of holiday homes unfinished, court hears
- Lloyd Webber, 71 and wife Madeleine, 57, spent nearly £20m on 2 luxury homes
- Barbados homes were for the Lloyd-Webber family, children and nannies
- Developers got into trouble during 2008 crash and homes were never built
Andrew Lloyd-Webber, 71, and his wife Madeleine, 57, (pictured together in Los Angeles in 2018) paid £8.4million up front for the two properties in Clearwater Bay on the west coast of Barbados in 2007
Andrew Lloyd-Webber and his wife lost £6million after spending £20million on two luxury holiday homes in the Caribbean that were never built, a court heard today.
Baron Lloyd-Webber, 71, and his wife Madeleine, 57, paid £8.4million up front for the two properties in Clearwater Bay on the west coast of Barbados in 2007.
They boasted stunning panoramic views and would have had ample space for the whole family, their children and nannies.
But after flying out to choose the plots and forking out as much as £20million for them, the developers were hit by the 2008 financial crash and they were never completed. They now ‘stand derelict’, the court was told.
After a tax ruling today, when a judge ruled the couple will be allowed to off set their losses against future tax liabilities, the Lloyd-Webbers declared they had lost £6million as a result of their failed investment.
Judge John Brooks told the tax tribunal in London the couple should be credited for the ‘real loss’ they suffered.
Lloyd Webber, who is worth an estimated £820million, said they have never been able to recover any of the money they paid out for the homes.
He cried victory after today’s successful appeal against HMRC’s original ruling in 2011/12 that they should not be allowed to offset their losses against tax due on capital gains.
Lady Lloyd-Webber earlier told the tribunal the family had holidayed on Barbados for years, but always in rented villas.
The Barbados homes they bought boasted stunning panoramic views (file image of island used) and would have had ample space for the whole family, their children and nannies, the tribunal was told
Keen to buy a home of their own, she was taken in by plans to build 50 super-luxury villas on Clearwater Bay.
After she flew to Barbados and picked out the plots in 2007, the Lloyd-Webbers agreed to pay a total of $25.9 million for two villas.
They paid deposits totalling over $5 million straight away and later shelled out more as construction of the villas went ahead.
What is Capital Gains Tax?
Capital Gains Tax requires people who sell a second property to give money back to the Government on the profits they make.
You do not generally have to pay CGT when selling your main property, but you will if it is a second home or a buy-to-let one.
In the UK, you pay higher rates of CGT on property than other assets.
Basic-rate taxpayers pay 18 per cent on gains they make when selling property, while higher and additional-rate taxpayers pay 28 per cent.
All taxpayers have an annual CGT allowance, meaning they can earn a certain amount tax-free.
In 2019/20 you can make tax-free capital gains of up to to £12,000 (or up to £11,700 in 2018-19).
Couples who jointly own assets can combine this allowance, potentially allowing a gain of £24,000.
Their total outlay came to almost $11.3 million, but building work on the villas was first delayed and then suspended, said the judge.
Developers, Cinnamon 88 Ltd, were suffering ‘cash flow difficulties precipitated by the global financial crisis,’ he added.
‘Various attempts were made by the developers to try and secure financing and recommence work, but ultimately these proved insufficient to get the project back on track.
‘The partially built properties have never been completed and development has never been resumed.
‘The partially built villas have been left to degrade and are currently derelict.’
The judge said the Lloyd-Webbers may one day get at least some of their money back if the villas are eventually completed and sold.
But he added that, as construction work has ‘never resumed’, completion ‘seems unlikely’ and the couple have to date not recovered any of their investment.
On the basis of dollar exchange rates at the time, the Lloyd-Webbers estimated their losses at almost £6.25 million.
Upholding their challenge to that decision today, Judge Brooks said they had ‘suffered a commercial loss in that they have spent considerable sums and it seems unlikely that the villas will in fact be built.’
The couple’s investment having turned out worthless, they were entitled to set off their ‘a real loss’ against future Capital Gains Tax bills.