We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
RSS FeedGovernance

NAO criticises HMRC for "cosy" relations with big business

The NAO report released on Thursday echoes a report by a committee of influential MPs

Article comments

The National Audit Office has slammed the taxman for procedural errors in five large tax settlements that may have allowed Goldman Sachs and Vodafone among others to avoid paying millions in tax.

The public spending watchdog criticised the tax authorities, echoing earlier criticism of the deal from a parliamentary committee which accused HMRC of being "too cosy" with large companies.

Last December a committee of MPs chided HMRC for governance breaches in its tax negotiations with some companies and for treating large corporate "more favourable" than other taxpayers.

On Wednesday, British activists against tax avoidance won court backing to challenge the Goldman settlement, which cut its 2010 British tax bill by an estimated £10 million.

Activists protested outside Vodafone's main Oxford Street store in London in 2010 when its tax deal became public.

While the NAO said the settlements were reasonable, insofar as HMRC may have received less if it litigated and lost, the watchdog found procedural errors in how the tax collector cut the deals.

HMRC did not always seek legal advice before agreeing settlements, refer settlements for independent review, as was standard procedure, while staff did not keep notes of all meetings at which settlement terms were agreed.


Recommended Articles



What’s going to kill your company?

What’s going to kill your company?

The role of the CFO and the board in strategic risk governancemore ..

Tesco’s new finance chief starts two months early amid accounting crisis

Marks and Spencer releases Alan Stewart early by to help deal with £250 million hole in Tesco’s accountsmore ..

Microsoft removes Bing image widget after Getty lawsuit

The company is being sued by Getty Images for copyright infringementmore ..

Apple loses bid for sales ban in Samsung patent case

Apple failed to show that it suffered enough harm as a result of Samsung's infringementmore ..

What makes a good board report?

Examining how CFOs can improve the way they report back to the boardmore ..

Examining the issue of corporate litigation funding

Litigation funding is a very useful tool for CFOs but not a panacea for all legal mattersmore ..

Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

In Depth
Can finance rise to the challenge of major transformation?

Can finance rise to the challenge of major transformation?

Outdated finance processes, systems and competencies leave too many questions unanswered more ..

In Depth
Interim CFO or consultant? The pros and cons

Interim CFO or consultant? The pros and cons

Ed Harding offers an insight into the life of an interim CFO and the advantages in driving transformation more ..


* *