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Four-time World champion Lewis Hamilton has found himself at the centre of an international tax avoidance scandal.

A trove of documents known as the ‘Paradise Papers’ reveals that the Mercedes driver as well as wealthy peers including Bono, Apple, Nike and even the Queen avoid tax through a series of secret offshore deals.

The Hamilton accusation centres around his private jet, in which Hamilton actually received a more than $4 million tax refund by importing it into the Isle of Man and claiming it was mainly used for business.

“We are talking about tens of billions that are effectively being leached from our vital public services by a super-rich elite that holds the taxation system and the rest of us in contempt,” said British politician Jeremy Corbyn.

A lawyer representing Hamilton insists the tax arrangement is legal.

According to the BBC, Hamilton’s lawyers said there had been no illegal activity but admitted no VAT had been paid on the plane.

“If private usage of the jet is being disguised as business usage of the jet, then what you essentially have is a tax avoidance scheme,” Rita De La Feria, professor of tax law at Leeds University, told the BBC.

“You’re using it for your own private interests, you’re going on holidays, meeting friends. You’re supposed to pay the tax on private consumption.”

A spokesman for Hamilton told Press Association Sport: “As a global sportsman who pays tax in a large number of countries, Lewis relies upon a team of professional advisers who manage his affairs.

“Those advisers have assured Lewis that everything is above board and the matter is now in the hands of his lawyers.”

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