Celebrities who use tax avoidance schemes are being prevented from getting knighthoods and other honours, it was claimed last night.
Nominees have their tax affairs analysed by senior tax officials who assign a rating to each which is then sent to the honours committee and the prime minister, the Times reported.
A document seen by the newspaper details how each nominee is rated using a 'traffic light system,' with green for low risk, amber for medium and red for high.
'Poor tax behaviour is not consistent with the award of an honour,' the memo between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Cabinet Office notes.
Leaked emails suggested David Beckham (pictured) was denied a knighthood when the taxman intervened. He is said to have referred to the honours committee as 'a bunch of c***s'
Last year leaked emails suggested David Beckham was denied a knighthood when the taxman intervened.
The footballer and former England captain, who invested in a scheme challenged by HMRC, is said to have referred to the honours committee as 'a bunch of c***s.'
And he also allegedly wrote 'everything is and was above board,' in response to a message indicating he had been flagged by the taxman.
The discovery will prompt speculation about why other figures such as Gary Lineker, Robbie Williams and Wayne Rooney have been overlooked for honours.
Former England captain Rooney, who is the country's leading goalscorer, gives vast sums of money to children's charities but was found to have sheltered £12.5million in the Invicta 43 film scheme, which left him facing a potential £3.5million bill. He has no OBE.
TV presenter Lineker did receive an OBE in 1992 but has not been honoured since, despite working for various charities tackling issues ranging from