ONE DIRECTION have resolved a whopping £24.7million tax row over an “alphabet scheme” that’s been hanging over the lads for five years, new accounts show.
Paperwork for 1D Media Limited — controlled by Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan — has referred to the legal dispute since 2016.
But figures just published for the company make no mention of the issue — suggesting the problem has now been resolved.
It is not clear if they have paid any of the disputed money to HMRC or if tax chiefs have backed down.
We revealed in March 2016 how the bandmates were in a legal wrangle which could have cost them up to £24.7million.
It came after the stars turned their shares in 1D Media into an “alphabet” structure, which is frowned upon by tax inspectors — although legal. The schemes allow users to group shares in categories — such as A to J — which allow profits to be placed in different rates of dividend payouts.
Dividends are not subject to National Insurance contributions like wages, so less tax is deducted.
The group have previously said they had insurance which would cover up to £18million of any payout if they lost.
The latest accounts filed at Companies House do not make it clear how much any agreed payment was, if one was made.
But they show that reserves in the company went down by £5.2million in 2020 — falling from £7.8million to £2.6million. The band had £5.2million in assets but owed creditors £2.6million, according to the accounts signed off by their ex-manager Alan McAvoy.
In 2019, cash in the company went up by £800,000 while it increased by £2million in 2018 and £1.2million the previous year.
When the band split in 2016, Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall quit as directors of the company. There is no suggestion the ex-bandmates — or Zayn Malik, who quit 1D in March 2015 — have engaged in tax evasion, which is illegal.
A 1D source previously insisted the share classes were set up to account for Zayn’s departure from the band and to “differentiate his right to receive income”.
A tax expert said: “The accounts don’t say it specifically but they point towards a settlement and that could be why reserves have fallen by more than £5million.”
The former bandmates have forged successful solo careers, and The Sun told yesterday how Harry is set to release a third album.
A music source said: “The boys are doing well enough to clear this up and won’t have wanted it hanging over them.”
A spokesman for the band did not respond to comment requests.
It comes as Liam hinted last week that a highly anticipated reunion could be in the works.
He said: “We were saying it has to be sooner rather than later.”
They could always follow ABBA’s lead and use holograms.
Maura’s stare case
Maura Higgins is obviously very comfortable in lingerie, but the Love Islander likes nothing more than snuggling up to watch a movie with a nice meal when she’s chilling with Strictly beau Giovanni Pernice.
The Irish beauty, who has been dating the dancer for three months, made sure all eyes were on her as she posed on some steps for a new photoshoot.
She said: “It feels so rare that I get to chill out, as I am always so busy. But I love a day of watching movies or cooking.”
Maura, posing in her latest sexy Ann Summers lingerie collection, insists she wears it to feel good about herself, although Giovanni probably doesn’t mind.
She said: “I think feeling sexy comes from being confident in yourself. I wear nice lingerie to make myself feel good. I wouldn’t want other women to think they have to dress for a man or impress anyone but themselves. That’s what my collection is all about.”
Dannii baffled by Shaz row
Dannii Minogue is still baffled as to why things got so nasty with fellow X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne.
She was reduced to tears after Sharon stormed into her dressing room before a show.
Dannii said: “I feel there was possibly people saying things to her that were not true.
“There had to be as you couldn’t explode like that. I don’t understand it, it’s still a question.”
Recalling the 2007 incident on the now-axed ITV hit show, she told the My Wardrobe Malfunction podcast: “About an hour before the first live show she came into my dressing room.
“It was my birthday, we were running late. She walked in and started screaming at me.
“There were make-up artists and producers witnessing this and she’s screaming about how I’ve ruined her life.
“We had ten minutes before the show went live and she stormed out.
“I burst into tears, make-up running.”
Full time for wife Tanya
Tanya Bardsley is quitting The Real Housewives Of Cheshire after 14 seasons.
She made the tough call last week but agreed to film several scenes for the current run to tie up her storyline.
Tanya, married to Burnley footie star Phil, said last month she’d had a seizure and collapsed with stress during a fashion shoot.
A source said: “Tanya’s gutted to leave but she’s been under a lot of stress and feels she’s been pushing herself too much. Phil was worried about her.
“Filming a reality show takes up a lot of her time. Tanya has businesses and is a mum. She was stretching herself too much.”
‘Ella of an entrance, Rihanna
Rihanna gives us a not-so-subtle reminder of one of her biggest hits as she’s snapped with a brolly being carried by a bouncer into a party in New York.
The Umbrella singer and Savage Fenty fashion mogul blended in while wearing a camouflage skirt, trousers and stiletto heels.
Riri made a cameo appearance on James Corden’s US chat show, which saw him moonlight as an assistant backstage at her fashion show.
Ellie’s a green goddess
Ellie Goulding moonlights as a science teacher when she tells us why she avoids eating meat.
The singer and green goddess said: “People always ask me about the connection between red meat and climate change. It’s farts – methane, is what it is. The cows fart and that goes into the atmosphere, but it’s also the water.
“A single cow takes, I don’t how many gallons, but it’s a lot – and I heard that there were more farmed animals, to eat and to milk, than natural animals. One per cent of the animals on Earth are wild. The rest are for us to use.”
Emily eyeing up islander Joe
WE’RE sure stunning Emily Atack isn’t short of celeb admirers sliding into her DMs, but we can name one handsome chap who has really caught her eye . . . ex-Love Islander Joe Garrett.
The pair have been exchanging flirty messages after Emily, left, recently split from fashion influencer Jude Taylor. Joe, who was linked to surf chick LUCIE DONLAN on the ITV2 show, is currently showcasing curly locks not too dissimilar to Emily’s model ex Jack Vacher and her once rumoured squeeze HARRY STYLES.
A source said: “Emily has been working hard and playing hard and recently enjoyed a girls’ trip to Marbella.
“Emily caught Joe’s eye on Instagram and she’s definitely his type. They’ve been messaging each other a bit and he’d love to take her on a date soon. They’re both single and looking for love.”
What are you waiting for, guys?
MIC’s Alex calls quits with girlfriend
MADE In Chelsea charmer Alex Mytton is no longer smitten with model girlfriend Georgina Howard, left, as we can reveal they have split up.
The pair parted ways after dating for three years and having lived together in lockdown.
A source close to Alex told us: “Alex and Georgina were sad to call it quits, as they had been through a lot together and made plenty of memories.”