Wayne Rooney is among the celebrities who may have been overlooked for honours because of involvement in schemes targeted by HMRCNICK WASS/AP

Tax avoiders are being blacklisted by the authorities to prevent them from getting knighthoods and other honours, The Times can reveal.

Celebrities who use controversial schemes to reduce their tax burden are being quietly identified by the taxman to block them from awards for public services, new documents show.

The discovery will lead to speculation that figures such as the footballers Wayne Rooney and Gary Lineker and the singer Robbie Williams have been overlooked for honours because of their involvement with lawful schemes targeted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Details of the confidential process can be revealed after a key document setting it out was obtained by The Times following a seven-month legal battle with the government. The document shows how nominees are rated…