Britain’s anti-monarchy campaign group Republic has welcomed the news that the Commons public accounts committee (PAC) is challenging tax exemptions enjoyed by British heir to the throne Prince Charles's £728m hereditary estate.
Unclaimed property in the Duchy of Cornwall, which Prince Charles owns thanks to his royal status under an ancient law, provided him with an £18.3m private income last year.
The 540 square kilometer duchy does not have to pay corporation or capital gains tax on trading.
The PAC said an inquiry is likely to be launched into the matter, after over 30 MPs and members of the public complained about the duchy's tax arrangements.
The committee will probably investigate public spending on the British Queen and the Prince of Wales's travel and official homes.
“We welcome the news that the PAC will be adding the Duchy to their inquiry into corporation tax avoidance. As we pointed out in December there is no justification for the Duchy to be avoiding this tax,” said Republic’s chief executive Graham Smith.
In December 2012, anti-monarchy campaigners asked Britain's HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to investigate what they allege is "a well-entrenched tax avoidance scheme" being run by the duchy.
“The duchy is a trading body and major land owner. Like all other trading bodies it should pay its fair share of tax. Instead the Duchy keeps ducking and diving, changing its excuses each time in a desperate bid to justify its position,” Smith added.