Zac Goldsmith’s Costa del Sol villa, where Boris Johnson vacationed last month, has been connected to a multimillion-pound tax evasion probe. 

According to Spanish court papers, the Torre Tramores estate near Marbella is linked to two of the Goldsmith family’s property businesses, which were ordered to pay €24m (£20m) in unpaid taxes and fines.  

If they do not pay, the tax authorities could legally take part of the land of the family. It includes more than 600 ha of private forest in Benahavis (10 miles) from Marbella’s coastline.  

A lawyer for one company told Guardian the dispute was caused by an error in land valuation. He called the case ‘extremely difficult to understand’ while Ben Goldsmith, Zac’s brother, stated that this whole episode should be used as a warning to Brits who are considering purchasing property in Spain.  

Johnson was embroiled in controversy after he spent last month at the villa along with Carrie Johnson’s wife and Wilfred Johnson. This occurred while Johnson’s country was suffering from a supply chain crisis as well as a fuel crisis. 

His knowledge that his Spanish tax authorities had investigated the house is now likely to lead to him being questioned.   

According to Spanish court papers, the Torre Tramores estate (pictured) is linked to two of the Goldsmith family's property businesses, which were ordered to pay €24m (£20m) in unpaid taxes and fines

According to Spanish court papers, the Torre Tramores estate (pictured) is linked to two of the Goldsmith family’s property businesses, which were ordered to pay €24m (£20m) in unpaid taxes and fines

According to the Guardian, the investigation began in Spain nearly ten years ago. In 2012, tax inspectors investigated a deal in which one of Goldsmith companies transferred land from a large estate, to another company.   

Court documents from 2008 show the family transferred plots of land near Benahavis village from Guadalmansa Administraciones to Benaltos Inversiones – in exchange for settling a €5m debt.  

The authorities accused the debt as being “fictitious” and stated that it should be labeled a “profitable transfer” instead of a repayment.

They also said the land was significantly undervalued in the deal and that it was actually worth €23.2m. 

The companies were ordered to pay €24m in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties for allegedly violating a legal requirement which states that transfers of assets between related entities must be priced at their normal market value.  

The authorities also stated that the tax return did not correctly declare the financial gain from the transfer.   

The Goldsmith companies appealed to the central economic-administrative court (CEAT) in 2016 – insisting that the debt was genuine and that the €23m land valuation was flawed. 

Their appeal was denied when the court ruled that the debt was not real. 

It said the deal was not a standard arrangement, citing the fact that ‘several companies domiciled in tax havens’ were involved ‘for no apparent economic reason’. 

The CEAT also believed the valuation by tax inspectors to be kosher given that less than a year after the transfer, the land was used as security for a loan worth €23m – adding it had ‘no doubt’ Benaltos was guilty and that its improper actions had ‘resulted in a loss to the public treasury’.

This ruling was upheld in 2018 by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s most prestigious court.   

The companies are believed to have filed a second appeal with the supreme court.  

Guadalmansa’s Swiss lawyer told Guardian that Spanish tax inspectors had significantly exaggerated the property’s value. He also said that it was “based solely on one wildly absurd valuation” by an agency-appointed appraisal company, which later admitted they made a mistake. 

Boris Johnson caught controversy when he stayed at the villa with his wife Carrie Johnson and son Wilfred last month (pictured together), while the country was battling a fuel crisis and suffering through the supply chain crisis

Boris Johnson was controversial when he visited the villa last month with Carrie Johnson (pictured together) while the country suffered from a supply chain crisis as well as a fuel crisis.

The estate is a short drive from the picturesque village of Benahavis, and has its own helipad to make sure VIP holidaymakers can arrive and leave without being seen

It is located just a few minutes from Benahavis. The estate has its own helicopter pad so VIP holidaymakers are able to arrive and depart without having to be seen

Elle added that the purchase was legal and that all taxes related to the property were paid fully.   

Johnson was staying in a sprawling villa while on holiday, she said.

Public records indicate that it is part of larger property holdings by the Goldsmiths in Benahavis.

In a list with ministerial interests, the Prime Minister revealed that Lord Goldsmith had allowed Carrie, Wilfred and him to remain at the estate free of charge.

Lord Goldsmith, a former MP from Richmond Park and a friend of the PM’s spouse, was promoted to the peerage after he lost his seat in the 2019 elections.

This allowed him to stay in government as environment minister at 46 years old. He is currently Minister for the Pacific and the Environment having been given an additional role in a 2020 reshuffle.

Downing Street previously said the luxury villa was ‘unconnected with the PM’s parliamentary and political activities’.  

Mail Online has reached out to Lord Goldsmith in order for him to comment. 

Ben, his brother, was a non-executive Director at the Environment Department. He simply stated to the Guardian that the whole incident serves as a warning for any Brit who is considering purchasing property in Spain.

Both have declined to comment on their involvement in or knowledge of the Spanish tax probe’s property deal.    

Lord Zac Goldsmith (pictured) is the former MP for Richmond Park - a close friend of the PM's wife - who was elevated to the peerage by Mr Johnson after losing his seat at the 2019 election

Lord Zac (pictured) was the ex-MP for Richmond Park, who is a good friend of the PM’s. He was elected to the peerage in 2019 by Mr Johnson following his loss at the election.

The siblings inherited £1.2bn when their father Sir James Goldsmith died in 1997.   

In 1980, Goldsmiths purchased the Tramores estate. A company tied to a Cayman Islands structure was then used by the Goldsmiths to acquire more land. 

Octuary saw renewed interest in the property after it was revealed that the property had been featured in the infamous ‘Pandora Papers,’ the famous long-running leak of nearly 12 million documents. This document exposed hidden wealth, tax avoidance, and money laundering by the most powerful and wealthy in the world.

The documents showed that the estate is held by ‘an opaque offshore structure based in multiple tax havens’.

The structure appears to involve the property being held through a Maltese firm, which is then owned by companies in Turks and Caicos Islands and managed by wealth planning firms based in Switzerland.

According to the Guardian, such offshore companies were recently used for the ownership of land and property of Goldsmiths located in Benahavis’ hills.   

Zac Goldsmith, however, has declared only one company as the property of part of his family’s land in the village. There are actually at least three.   

According to the Lords Register, only one Spanish and Maltese firm is identified as being interested in land in Andalucia. This region in southern Spain is Spain’s autonomous.

The Guardian reported that some documents indicate companies not declared as such have been used for holding land or to generate rental income through holiday rentals.

The spokesperson said that all reportable interests had been clearly and accurately declared.