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, 26 February 2015

In Like Flint - PAC's Chat With HSBC and HMRC


PAC had a busy day yesterday, having a wee chat with the "great and the good" of both HSBC and HMRC.

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver apologised to MPs for "unacceptable" practices at HSBC's Swiss subsidiary. Alongside Gulliver was HSBC chairman Douglas Flint.

Gulliver also defended his personal decision to be paid by the bank via a Panamanian company with an account in the Swiss private bank, insisting that the arrangement was not designed to avoid tax, but to protect his privacy against other members of staff who were able to view employees' accounts via the company computer system.

Gulliver is quoted by the Telegraph:
"There was no tax advantage or purpose whatsoever.
I would like to put on the record an apology from both myself and Douglas for the unacceptable events that took place at our private bank in Switzerland in the mid-2000s. It is an apology we would like to make to you, our customers, our shareholders and the public at large. 

It clearly was unacceptable. We very much regret this, and it has damaged HSBC's reputation."
Asked precisely what he was apologising for, Gulliver said:
"The lack of controls and practices which now - judged with the benefit of hindsight - we would not be at all comfortable with if they were happening today, and which have clearly resulted in damage to trust and confidence in HSBC and created further reputational damage to our firm and have therefore hurt clients, customers, shareholders, our staff and people at large.
Flint told the Treasury select committee that he blamed the failings at the Swiss unit on its management, and said secrecy surrounding banking in the country made it difficult for him to have a direct line of sight of what has happening at the bank (funny way to run a bank!). Chairman of the bank since the end of 2010, Flint was finance director at the time the Swiss subsidiary was purchased by HSBC.

Homer, for her part, admitted that she is concerned by the perception that HMRC is soft on the rich and tough on the poor. The fact is that low hanging fruit, unprotected by lawyers and tax professionals, are an easy target for HMRC.

John Mann asked her:
"What would you do if you discovered any parliamentarians were dodging tax?"
Lin Homer replied that she’d have to check “whether I had an obligation, or an ability, to refer” them to the parliamentary authorities.

She went on to assure PAC that where there are people in positions of responsibility, HMRC does act.

Homer repeated that HMRC doesn’t expect a ‘waterfall’ of new prosecutions, even though it can now share the Swiss data with other agencies.

Homer denied that Hartnett has any inside information on HSBC’s Swiss bank, or HMRC’s systems etc etc.

Here is the transcript.

So everything is basically fine, nothing to see here move along please!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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5 comments:

  1. What does she actually mean when she says hmrc does act when there are people in positions of responsibility? What on earth does "act" mean in this context? From where I sit they act like nothing happened. Over 1000 tax evaders identified from HSBC information ie crooks. Prosecutions? One. That's more than 999 granted immunity from prosecution anonymity and penalised with a fine and penalties. All without thorough investigation because of a seemingly spurious claim about the French. Does anyone honestly believe none of these had a position of responsibility?
    One whisteblower to release that whole list of names. That's all it will take. The avoidance debate, whilst needing to be considered, is a red herring when actual evasion has taken place.

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  2. Dear Ken.

    A Government organisation ranked dead last in a 2014 survey among large agencies.....
    'Many************employees have said that in the annual government viewpoint survey of **** employees that their senior leaders are innefective; that the department discourages innovation, and that promotions are not based on merit. Others have described in interviews how a stifling bureaucracy and relentless ****** criticism makes****an exhausting, even infuriating place to work.'

    The foregoing is actually taken from an article 'Study after study shows the DHS has an intense morale problem that can apparently only be solved by study after study.'
    from The Daily Sheeple 25/2/2015 as copied from:-
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150221/15063730101/study-after-study-shows-dhs-has-intense-morale-problem-that-can-apparently-only-be-solved-study-after-study.shtml

    read the full techdirt article and cring at the similarities

    ReplyDelete
  3. "What would you do if you discovered any parliamentarians were dodging tax?"
    Lin Homer replied that she’d have to check “whether I had an obligation, or an ability, to refer” them to the parliamentary authorities. = Do nothing
    Lin Homer replied that she’d have to check “whether I had an obligation, or an ability, to refer” them to the parliamentary authorities.

    She went on to assure PAC that where there are people in positions of responsibility, HMRC does act. = Bullshit and lies

    Homer repeated that HMRC doesn’t expect a ‘waterfall’ of new prosecutions, even though it can now share the Swiss data with other agencies. = Denial and cover up

    Homer denied that Hartnett has any inside information on HSBC’s Swiss bank, or HMRC’s systems etc etc Lies and Bullshit

    Don't let this issue die and go away

    ReplyDelete
  4. Homer was very evasive about Nom Doms and surprisingly PAC did not corner her on the way that HMRC seem to have abused the Lichtenstein Disclosure Facility to allow people who were caught evading tax in via HSBC accounts in Switzerland to negotiate more generous settlement terms than they were entitled. At least the Committee did hammer home the point that there appeared to be one level of service granted to high net worth individuals or companies and quite another for the rest of the tax paying population.

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  5. PAC is part of the 'system', HMRC, HSBC, wont be fully exposed or sanctioned because the questioners (PAC) are in fear of being exposed by their own questions to these groups, of being guilty of the same offences.
    You don't get your opponents on the ropes, prep them up for the knockout blow, and then back off and not deliver that blow!
    Come on PAC time to grow do your duty.

    ReplyDelete