My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed me to another update on the Osita Mba debacle.
The Guardian reports that based on emails that it has seen, David Gauke seemingly approved a plan to brief a journalist with information to help discredit testimony from HMRC whistleblower Osita Mba.
The leaked emails were sent on 15 December 2011 by a senior figure in HMRC's media department to Gauke's private secretary, Oliver Haydon. The emails claimed that the imminent public accounts committee report would be highly critical of Hartnett, HMRC and the Goldman Sachs deal.
In one email, the HMRC executive wrote to Gauke's secretary saying there was a need for Mba's evidence to be challenged:
"The belief that Mr Mba has genuine and deep knowledge of the Voda [Vodafone] and GS [Goldman Sachs] settlements is growing when in fact the picture he presents is partial, incomplete and flawed.
Much of the PAC [public accounts committee] report on large business settlements is likely to be based on his submissions and we feel this must be challenged if HMRC's reputation is not to suffer very serious damage.
We propose to do this by having Dave Hartnett brief [a named Financial Times journalist] – on the record – with a view to a Saturday/Monday story. We would welcome your views."
"Thx — I've relayed to XST [Gauke] whose initial reaction was positive. I'll confirm when I speak to him in the next hour or so."Sadly there is nothing new in politicians using (directly or indirectly) the media to undermine the reputation of individuals and to manipulate the opinions of those involved in reviews/investigations. It is though particularly troubling when parts of the civil service encourage the politicians to adopt such a strategy.
Tax does have to be taxing.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.
Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.
However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.
What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?
Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance
Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.
Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies
HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"