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, 8 December 2011

Did HMRC Break The Law?

The Guardian reports that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is looking into claims, from an HMRC whistleblower, that Dave "Jack" Hartnett's deal with Vodafone to waive £7BN of tax may have been outwith the powers (ultra vires) of HMRC (ie illegal).

The whistleblower also claimed that the agreement that HMRC claimed let the giant vampire squid (Goldman Sachs) off £10M was in fact worth £20M.

£10M here, £10M there; details mere details!

Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, told the Guardian that she had received the new allegations from someone with an apparent detailed knowledge of the deals and confirmed that a senior counsel may now assess them.

"The main allegation is that senior officials at Revenue and Customs have acted ultra vires [beyond their powers] and we are duty bound to take that seriously."

I wonder if the whistleblower is part of "Dissent"?

Jack has thus far avoided detailed scrutiny by citing legal privilege. That defence, if the allegations are valid, has just been blown out of the water.

However, HMRC is standing by its guns and is quoted:

"We are entirely confident that our approach to large business tax settlements is the right one. This approach has brought in more than £13bn from large businesses since 2006.

We have not seen the material which the Guardian tells us may be referred for counsel's opinion so it would be wrong to comment further....

Dave Hartnett's evidence to the PAC [public accounts committee] is entirely consistent and accurate.

Mr Hartnett made clear that an error occurred and the comptroller and auditor general is on record as saying this error was between £5m and £8m."

This will run and run!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Does this whistleblower have any link to the group Dissent that everyone was quick to dismiss earlier in the week? Certainly something is happening inside HMRC.

  2. Your website is accurately named but, in this instance, HMRC got it right. Vodaphone never owed £x billion or whatever in the first place. The problem was the defective CFC legislation which the EU is compelling Osborne to change. There was no point in the HMRC continuing its fight with Vodaphone because it would have lost big-time in the end. This report says it all (H/T Tim Worstall)

  3. "We are entirely confident that our approach to large business tax settlements is the right one. This approach has brought in more than £13bn from large businesses since 2006..."

    Next question...

    How much should it or could it have brought in from large business?

  4. @11:37

    This quote from your second link pretty much sums it all up!

    "Under EU law, profits of such CFCs should not be subject to additional taxation in the country of the parent company if the subsidiaries are engaged in genuine economic activities"

  5. "the comptroller and auditor general is on record as saying this error was between £5m and £8m!"


    You have to do something really serious at HMRC to get into trouble, like spend too long in the toilet or take 30 seconds over the call handling time.

  6. @18:27

    & there lies the problem,
    £5-8 million is probably peanuts to Vodafone, but to the everyday man in the street who feels like HMRC would screw them for every penny they owed... I'd guess it would feel like a pretty big deal!

  7. HMRC is a dodgy department and an embarassment to this country.
    They have continually broken the law with me and my situation, continually lied and tried to scare me into paying back tax credit that I don't even owe them.
    Their actions disgust me

  8. The people that work at HMRC these days are without morals. From the deliberate time wasting premium rate phone call you have pay through the nose to sort out the shit they create to the boys at the top making the decisions to recoup money from the hard working hard up people of this country by whatever means even if they do ignore their own code of practice (COP26) without a care and even if they do break laws, they don't care its the results that matter to them. The people, the hard working business owners who work their fingers to the bone to survive this climate while these pathetic 9 til 5 office monkeys ruin lives without so much as a care or any conscience. The sad part is they don't care that they are seen by everyone as useless, inconpetant, inefficiant, moronic, law breaking, untrained idiots. They just carry on regardless, which tells us a lot about them.