Last year's Capability Review of Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue (HMRC), the words "capability" and "HMRC" simply don't go together, by Sir Gus O'Donnell has led to an overhaul of HMRC's management structure, with a new non-executive chairman and a chief executive to be appointed.
Dave Hartnett, currently acting chairman, will become acting chief executive as part of the changes.
Still only a "Nearly Man", poor old Dave!
Needless to say, HMRC don't believe in being terribly transparent about the type of person that they want.
When asked a perfectly reasonable question about who they were looking for, an HMRC flunky wouldn't answer, doesn't HMRC realise that we pay their salaries?, he merely said:
"Somebody associated with aggressive avoidance needn't waste their time."
OK here's the "avoidance" issue again. As I have already noted, avoidance is a perfectly legal means of reducing a tax bill, and what every sensible person tries to do; eg people use ISA's, claim personal allowances etc etc.
However, as HMRC has become increasingly politicised, HMRC now tries to equate avoidance with evasion; the latter being illegal.
This attempt to link avoidance and evasion is technically and legally wrong.
Unfortunately, judging from HMRC's statement they have not yet grasped that fundamental tenet of British law.
Maybe those in charge of HMRC need to be sent on a course to teach them the fundamental principles of British law?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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