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Harry Potter alum Rupert Grint may have been able to fight Voldemort, but he couldn't beat British tax officials

By Dave Quinn
Updated August 10, 2016 02:05 PM
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Credit: Splash News Online

It’s the case of Rupert Grint and the deathly tax refund.

Rupert Grint may have been able to help Harry Potter defeat Voldemort, but he was far less successful when challenging British tax officials.

The Harry Potter alum has lost his legal battle for a British tax refund worth over a million dollars, according to multiple U.K. media outlets.

Grint, 27, was seeking the substantial return from the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), after tax officials had blocked his accountants’ attempts to shield some of his earnings from a 50 percent tax rate imposed in 2010-11.

To avoid the increased rate, Grint’s accountants had tried to move eight months of the actor’s income into the 2009-2010 tax year, when the tax rate was 40 percent. According to his money managers, taxing 20 months of income together at the lower rate would save Grint 10 percent of his earnings – about $1.3 million – The Guardian reports.

An accounting adjustment such as Grint’s is traditionally accepted by the HMRC. However, tax tribunal judge Barbara Mosedale rejected his appeal, ruling Grint had failed to meet the law’s conditions for a valid change in accounting dates.

“HMRC accepted that he had the right to change his accounting date. The dispute solely concerned whether he had done so within the meaning of the legislation,” she said, according to the BBC.

Judge Mosedale also stressed that there was no accusation that Grint was involved in tax avoidance, considering he had already paid the tax.

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Grint had admitted in early hearings that his knowledge of his finances was “quite limited.” He said his accountant, Dan Clay and his father, Nigel Grint, had been managing those affairs.

The last Labour government brought in the increased 50 percent tax rate during its final days – a bid to protect public finances after the U.K.’s banking crisis. At the time, Grint was filming the penultimate Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Then-chancellor George Osborne abolished the 50 percent rate two years later.