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.

Monday, 28 November 2011

EU Nixes Swiss Deal

Well then, here's an interesting story in Accountancy Age.

It seems that the EU is threatening to sue the UK over its tax agreement with Switzerland, signed in October.

At the time of signing, Dave Hartnett said:

"The world is shrinking fast for offshore tax evaders and this agreement will ensure that we know where money that flees Switzerland is heading. We won't be far behind."

European Commission lawyers are not convinced, and are of the view that the deal is in breach of EU laws that they claim are tougher on tax evasion.

George Osborne has been warned that he must renegotiate the deal or face a writ from the EU.

The deal, as it currently stands, protects the secrecy of UK residents who have accounts with Swiss banks, in return for a large percentage of the capital in their accounts and a withholding tax. Oddly enough Germany had also negotiated a similar deal.

Notwithstanding that, the EU thinks that the deal contradicts the EU Savings Directive and undermines its negotiating mandate.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Another case of the EU sticking its nose in where it doesn't belong!

  2. No, another case of HMRC ignorring the law!

  3. Like the EU is going to upset the Germans, at the mo!!

  4. 28 November 2011 21:08

    Errr... George Osborne signed the treaty not Jack.

    Ohmygoooooodddd facts on the innerneeeetttt!

  5. Um, not entirely sure the post says Jack signed the deal............

  6. i think the poster above claimed that hmrc (ie Jack) was ignoring the law when it was the government who signed the deal. Mind you, why let the facts get in the way of petty prejudice eh?

  7. Well said @20:03.

    People should always remember that HMRC don't break or bend laws. They are above most of them.

  8. Lets look at this objectively.

    George Osborne signs something which is in effect a treaty with Switzerland banks saying "OK you disclose your current account holders as of today and we won't bother you any more".

    HMRC receives information from that treaty and, oh... I dunno, being an administrative arm of the treasury (by order of some 'magic flute' according to some people who respond to comments on this site), decides to respond and act on that information.

    Jack doesn't help at all by providing a soundbite that he thinks will placate his political masters

    EU intervenes and it all goes tits up but oh no... it cannot be a sovereign government ministers fault, that would upset the political balance of the EU. I know, just blame it on a civil servant.

    The usual "why we are/why haven't we left the EU" arguments provide a diversion away from proper debate because it's easier to do that for several days because of the polarisation.