ENERGY giant Npower has rejected fresh claims that it is avoiding its tax obligations in the UK.

The company admitted earlier this month – following questioning from Northumberland Labour MP Ian Lavery – that it has not paid corporation tax in the UK for three years, arguing that it has invested £5bn in new power stations and wind technology instead.

A report in The Sun claims that it has avoided paying up to £108m in UK corporation tax in the past four years by using a company called Scaris based in the tax haven of Malta.

A spokesman for Npower confirmed it worked with Scaris for a couple of years until 2011, but said: “I can categorically state that this makes no difference to our UK tax situation.”

On April 16 Npower’s chief executive Paul Massara told the Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee that the company had not paid corporation tax for three years after he was asked by Mr Lavery if he could confirm how much it had paid in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Mr Massara said a “simple accounting rule” allowed it to deduct corporation tax due to the investment it had made.

Npower is owned by German utility company RWE and posted a 34 per cent rise in profits to £413m last year.

It employs hundreds of staff in the North-East with offices in Thornaby, Peterlee and Sunderland and has a large customer base in the region.

Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham said: “Energy companies make substantial profits and they have a responsibility to pay their taxes.

“If there is any question at all over what this company is doing it ought to be thoroughly investigated and if necessary their management should be held to account.”