Matalan founder John Hargreaves has entered a battle with HM Revenue & Customs over an £84 million tax bill.
The 72-year-old billionaire is being chased for taxes on money he made selling shares in the retailer which he founded, stating that during the time he was living abroad.
Yesterday he attended an initial hearing at the tax tribunal and directions for the disclosure of documents and witness evidence have been given.
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In 2001 Hargreaves sold £200 million worth of shares in Matalan, but states he was living in a luxury hotel in Monaco at the time.
It has been revealed that despite this, he flew to the UK more than 40 times in the same year.
HM Revenue & Customs argues this means he was “ordinarily resident” in Britain when the shares were sold.
He resigned from chairman of the retailer in 2007, the same year the monumental tax bill was handed to him.