Tuesday 8 November 2011

The Truth

Members of the Commons Public Accounts Committee took the unusual step of making Anthony Inglese CB, General Counsel and Solicitor HMRC, swear an oath at yesterday's PAC hearing into HMRC Accounts and Tax Disputes.

For why?
It seems that the committee did no feel that they were getting answers from Inglese.

For why?

He repeatedly declined to answer questions, citing taxpayer confidentiality.

I am amused to read this about him in The Lawyer:

"The veteran lawyer does admit to getting a thrill from reading about his work in the national press. 

'It’s exactly why I wanted to join ­government'.."


I guess he will be delighted to read this then!

Sir Gus O’Donnell (GOD) KCB, Cabinet Secretary, and Dave "Jack" Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax, HM Revenue and Customs also appeared.

Inglese and Jack admitted admitted that mistakes had been made in the deals with Vodafone and Goldman Sachs (the giant vampire squid).

The committee chairman, Margaret Hodge, asked why HMRC appeared to have a special relationship with such big businesses that allowed them to do deals in a way that would not be possible for smaller businesses or individual taxpayers.
Jack managed to undermine what he said at a previous hearing (when he claimed that he had been advised by an HMRC official that there was a "legal impediment" to charging interest) by stating that an official from HMRC (not him) had lost his bonus as a result of the deals.

"The error was taken into account on someone's annual appraisal."

Why didn't Jack also lose his bonus, given that he signed off on the deal?


Watch the farce here The Farce.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Before viewing the latest from the PAC I'd been watching "Yes, Minister". Sadly, watching Inglese at the PAC was more of a farce than the actual scripted comedy.

    I, and many others, have said for a long time that there is something stinking, corrupt and arrogant at the centre of HMRC and we are being proved more correct with each passing day.

    Keep up the good work Ken and I hope to see much more of Margaret Hodge.

  2. GOD was pretty bullish though. He seems more than capable of handling the committee

  3. "Why didn't Jack also lose his bonus, given that he signed off on the deal?"

    Did Hartnett have a bonus? All the HMRC Annual Reports I've looked at show him as having taken none.

    Stew G

  4. "GOD was pretty bullish though. He seems more than capable of handling the committee"

    If these guys where not up to something then they would not need to handle the committee.

  5. As an employee of HMRC I'm astonished that the only conduct and discipline action taken against someone who has lost the public purse ten million pounds is that he/she has lost their bonus.

    I'm astonished for two reasons.

    Firstly...it's TEN MILLION BLOODY POUNDS! For the love of all that's holy, if I made a monumental cock-up of such catastrophic proportions, I'd be out of the door faster than you can say "staff morale, anyone?"

    Secondly, for the vast majority of HMRC a bonus is something that you work your socks off to try and get and, if you're in the lower grades, you've probably got more chance of winning the lottery. To find that someone at a senior grade has been punished by removal of their bonus rather suggests that they would have ordinarily been entitled to it without question. That doesn't quite sit with the "customer experience" of the lower grades, does it?

    Eventually, heads will have to roll. HMRC cannot be held unaccountable and someone will have to 'take one for the team'.

    Once upon a time, I was proud to say that I worked for HM Customs & Excise and, latterly, HMRC. Now, admitting that you work for HMRC has become a dirty secret like being a registered sex offender or having a penchant for fondling livestock...

    Let's see some of ex-com get the heave-ho, bring some new blood in and turn this sinking ship around.

    This current bunch have proven time and again that they are simply incapable of the job they are paid large salaries and, apparently, hefty bonuses, to do.

  6. GOD behaved like he believed he was just that. What an arrogant bully. The shame is that the PAC who were like wolves mauling a carcass with Inglese were like timid pussycats with Sir (and we all know why he got that) Gus.
    What the PAC failed to pick up on, probably because MPs are totally discredited themselves, was GODs complete abondonment of the Civil Service Code in relation to Hartnett's wining and dining. The simple fact is there should be absolutely no need for this in what should be a purely professional relationship and one where perception is everything. That said the Civil Service has no standards now - at least at the top - anything goes.

  7. Dear All,

    Margaret Hodge and her team did a masterful job in making, Anthony Inglese, one of the most senior lawyers in the civil service to swear an oath on the Bible, and warned he must tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    I have never seen a more evasive and obstinate person in all my life; while he knew he was on camera. You can see the chicanery of Mr Inglese the “TOP DOG” lawyer at HMRC. But thankfully Ms Hodge and her team were having none of his LAWLESS rants and made a buffoon out of him, as he clearly did NOT know the law: -

    How can a man that doesn’t know the law advise other persons on the law? Madness, is it not?

    Unfortunately, I am a BIG victim of the Inland Revenue / HMRC, as they robbed me of my home and possessions on fraudulent assessments when I was looking for a legitimate tax rebate in 1984. I was on PAYE and the Inland Revenue had me on an emergency Tax Code; therefore, I had overpaid my tax by thousands of pounds. I was unlawfully bankrupted in the High Court on 6th December 1996 and evicted from my home on 30 March 1999.

    Continued below: -

    Once the Inland Revenue got their teeth into me, they had the same mindset as Anthony Inglese; they would NOT let go. You can see my story that was printed in The Guardian by clicking on this link: -

    Report by Phillip Inman of The Guardian, Jobs & Money, Saturday May 10, 2003:
    This man was right all along

    David Hartnett is fully aware of my case, but refuses to settle it. Recently the HMRC has rebuffed my MP, Nick Hurd, yet again. Therefore, the only hope of ever getting justice and compensation for my suffering and losses is if Margaret Hodge and her team haul HMRC back before them again to answer questions under oath on my case. As I was FRAMED-UP for tax that the Inland Revenue / HMRC are fully aware of, but refuses to settle with me. It is outrageous, but true.

    Over the years, I have had FOUR MPs and they have all told me that they have hit ‘brick walls’ with HMRC. Now we know why, don’t we? - Thanks to Margaret Hodge and her excellent team.

    Yours truthfully,

    Patrick Cullinane.


    Like hell they do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If your total income as a Pensioner is interest from savings plus a pathetic 1/2 state pension and it dares to be pennies over the £10K limit you are DENIED using R85s R40s Interim R40s and thus tax is incorrectly deducted at source ......result you have to wait until long past the end of the Tax Year in order to reclaim tax thats been deducted in advance yet no way do you owe it
    Hence i loose £2000 in Tax and have to reclaim £1700

    Do they pay me interest ...NOT ON YOUR LIFE

    If you are self employed though you can earn exactly the same amount and not pay any tax due until 10 months after end of the tax year ,,,,,,very even handed treatment i do not think so

  9. The ministers that formulate and write up the laws governing business taxes,leave their government positions with a golden handshake then go and work for the Corporations that their tax laws were aimed at, and show them how to circumvent the tax laws that they helped formulate.Not only is that shameful it smacks of corruption. Somebody please give me an argument.

    1. There is no argument....
      The corporate capture of HMRC & the government is well noted on sites such as Richard Murphy's Tax Research UK blog