David Beckham 'missed a children's charity visit to Downing Street to avoid paying UK tax'

GRASPING David Beckham swerved a children’s charity visit to Downing Street to avoid a bigger tax bill, it was claimed yesterday.

The England soccer ace, 41, had been asked to take a group of 100 youngsters to meet ex-PM David Cameron on behalf of the United Nations charity, Unicef.

But he allegedly turned down the gig after telling aides it would be “a problem” if he left his US home.

At the time Beckham was playing for Los Angeles Galaxy and registered in America for tax purposes.

Under HMRC rules, ex-pats can typically avoid paying UK tax if they do not spend more than 90 days a year in Britain.

If Becks had made the trip he could have sparked a new tax demand – but instead rearranged the visit for a later date.

The revelations emerged in hacked emails posted on the Sports Leaks and Mediapart websites which were published in other UK newspapers yesterday.

They alleged Beckham had emailed advisers: “The problem for this one is that I cannot go home.”

Close pal Dave Gardner, an aide to Beckham, asked what should tell Unicef because “obviously we cannot tell them the real reason”.

The ex-Three Lions skipper’s PR chief, Simon Oliveira, later suggested using “important personal reasons” as the excuse.

The exchanges were released days after it emerged Beckham’s desperate bid for a knighthood had hit the rocks over his tax affairs.

Emails showed officials had put a “red flag” on his nomination for a gong.

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Furious Beckham reacted by branding the Honours Committee “unappreciative c***s”, before adding: “Unless it’s a knighthood f*** off.”

Yesterday a spokesman for Beckham said: ”This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture.”

Beckham finally met the children at Downing Street in on July 26, 2012, Unicef confirmed.

A source close to Beckham told The Daily Mail: “David is now domiciled in the UK for tax, but he wasn’t when he worked overseas.

“For periods of time, he was based outside the UK. “He just couldn’t travel to the UK on that particular date. “But the Unicef event did go ahead, at a later date, so it would be wrong to say he let them down.

“Really it’s a situation in which an event moved by a month – around a guy who was abroad with his team role and donating huge amounts of money to charity at the time.

“One of the periods David was living abroad, he was donating his entire salary to Unicef when in Paris, so it’s a bit rich to suggest that him being overseas was bad for the charity.”

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