It has been reported today that Alan Sugar may be investigated for possible tax-evasion.
It is claimed that Baron Sugar of Clapton has been exploiting a dubious tax-loophole since 2008 and may have underpaid hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax and national insurance as a result.
In July 2008, Sir Alan, as he was then, stepped down from the Board of Amstrad, the electronics company that he had founded in 1968 and sold in July 2007 to broadcaster BSkyB, for a reputed £125 million.
Since that date Alan Sugar supposedly received no further remuneration from the company.
However, subsequent financial statements of Amstrad show that as part of the deal, remuneration of £5 million per year continues to be paid......to Alan Sugar's dog, a cocker spaniel called Archie.
Further dubious sources reveal that Archie currently has a ten year contract worth in excess of £50 million.
UK tax law does not presently cover canines and so Archie receives this money 'tax-free'.
'So what!', said a defiant Sugar earlier today when questioned. 'Archie works hard for his money, he's put in the hours, why shouldn't he reap the benefits?'
Lord Sugar insists that Archie is much more than an overpaid guard-dog. 'He attends board-meetings, helps with recruitment and strategic business decisions. Archie is great in brain-storming sessions, he never interrupts or contradicts'.
Lord Sugar contends that Archie, who lives with him and his family, pays for the mortgage and other household bills as contribution for his keep and does so of his own free-will.
Archie was unable to comment, largely because he's a dog and doesn't speak.
A Revenue Inspector confirmed, from the call-centre in Mumbai, that the tax treatment of dogs was under investigation.
'I'm not sure when we'll get round to writing to Mr Archie', he said. 'There are currently just over 8 million other cases that we have to deal with first and there are just 6 of us here and only 2 speak English'.
Oh well, as they say, It's a dog's life!