HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ian Barlow, HMRC and PA Consulting

In July I wrote about Ian Barlow's appointment to HMRC as the replacement to Mike Clasper, and listed the companies of which he is a board member. Amongst them is PA Consulting Group Ltd.

My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed out a couple of things about HMRC's relationship with PA Consulting.

PA Consulting has had a commercial relationship with HMRC, eg between April 2003 and June 2005 HMRC paid PA Consulting over £20M.

PA Consulting Group have been involved in a tax avoidance litigation case with HMRC for many years, which is now on its way to Supreme Court. Contractor Calculator quotes James Abbott, tax partner at contractor accountant Abbott Moore:
"In the 1990s, management consulting firm PA Consulting decided that it would pay its employees bonuses using dividends, so they could deliberately avoid Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

The firm set up an elaborate tax structure, allowing it to route bonus payments through a separate offshore company with multiple share classes and pay dividends to the employees, instead of bonuses as part of their PAYE pay packet.”
HMRC challenged the scheme via the tax commissioners, and then the courts, contending that the payments to PA Consulting’s employees were ‘earnings’ and should be taxed accordingly.

The case continues.

"Curiouser and curiouser!" said Alice.

Comments and views always welcome.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Only to be expected with this immoral bunch of incompetant swivel servants.
    It is yet again the tip of an odious iceberg with more skeletons in cupboards than the haunted house at Disney World.
    The system is not new as the Mapeley contract revealed, its only when you join all the dots with individuals, banks, shareholders, past and present civil servants and politico's that you begin to see the real picture.

  2. So as an accountant you've never advised a company director or other to pay themselves a dividend (as opposed to a salary) to avoid NI. Ferrrk off you're fooling no-one.

    Sadly most directors are at it.