Former Revenue boss lands tax-advice job at Deloitte – Telegraph

This story in the Telegraph is worth a read. Check it out!

Former Revenue boss lands tax-advice job at Deloitte – Telegraph.

I think this is a game-keeper turned poacher story rather than poacher turned gamekeeper.

Any thoughts?

The Gamekeeper - Richard Ansdell (1815 - 1885)

The Gamekeeper – Richard Ansdell (1815 – 1885) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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6 responses

  1. Pingback: Treasury accountants accused of helping rich to avoid tax | tax avoidance News | The Week UK « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Yes, well, having read John’s comments I really have little to add. The situation is the inevitable result of an over complex system. How about a Transaction Tax paid through County/Unitary Councils? You know, 1.5% of all sales made in that area (no matter where the goods come from or where the money is banked and accounted for)? Right – now you see the problems: what is a “sale” and so on. So, scrap corporation tax and all other taxes other than those on the buildings used. Base the tax on the size of all property used by the company with regional zones (highest rate in London, lowest in under-developed areas). That would encourage business to move to places where we need more jobs and make goods and services cheaper. It would clobber Amazon – but not really hit Google but there is only so much you can do.

    Then accept that personal taxation has to increase. Pay less on the goods and services and more on the earnings. That helps the poorest too.

    • Rodney,

      Many thanks for your response and suggestions.

      Whilst I favour tax simplification, I fear the problem is deeper. Many large companies seem to escape paying their share of corporation tax on their profits. Assuming that we still wish to tax corporations, rather than pass the burden to individuals there are two options in my mind:

      1. Make corporation tax more effective;
      2. Introduce another form of taxation that falls on corporations

      As far as individual are concerned, I believe in low taxation and small government.

      From a moral viewpoint, it is unfair that those with the resources can effectively reduce their share of taxes.

  3. I was terribly tempted to blog on this today but decided to resist as I was sure others would. Have yet to read John’s comment but will in a moment. Is not the moral of the story that the right tax regime is so simple that there is a clear divide between “evasion” and “avoidance” and the fear of heavy costs against them is no longer a problem that HMRC has to face?

  4. Dave Hartnett the former CEO of the HMRC let Vodaphone off a £6 billion gbp tax bill as far back as 2010,presided over a situation where Eon the energy company has paid no corporation tax at all for the past 7 years, competed a sweetheart deal with Goldman Sachs and has, at least according to Private Eye, been offering tax avoidance advice through his own consultancy.

    Most of the Big 4 offer off the shelf Offshore Special Purpose Vehicles which allow companies like GE and Tesco PLC to keep the debts incurred when making acquisitions off balance sheet and then at a propitious moment make them reappear in a suitable jurisdiction so that corporation tax liabilities disappear.

    HMRC itself did a sale and leaseback deal on most of its building which was placed into an offshore special purpose vehicle based in Bermuda called Mapeley Steps.No-one would have known about it if it was not for incisive investigative reporting by Private Eye the satirical magazine.

    During his tenure Hartnett used to take executives of companies to lunch and more often was taken to lunch and do deals with them to lower their company’s tax bills even when his own legal department thought that they had these companies in the “cross hairs” for either the full amount of tax paid or a good proportion of it.

    HSBC was effectively involved in laundering drug money and its predecessor founded by the Matthieson “Tai Pans” was involved during the days of the British Empire during the 1800’s in the opium trade.
    Hartnett was keen on offshore tax amnesties and under the disclosure regimes individuals could come forward with their hidden stashes, pay a bit of tax and a 10% penalty and then walk away scott free.

    As leading criminal barrister Jonathan Fisher QC said in a paper on disclosure in 2012:

    “The disclosure facility presents a tremendous opportunity to legitimise the monies and bring them back into the financial system”.”Against the known background of organised criminals utising HMRC for money laundering purposes,it is inconceivable for the disclosure facilities not to be abused in this way”(Source: Private Eye -3rd May to 16th May edition)

    The international money laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force, noted in 2010 ,that:

    “Financial institutions may believe the legitimacy of assets being deposited under such a programme have been officially endorsed by the authorities”.

    Hartnett retired on a full index linked pension of £162,000 gbp a year and is the same man along with Osborne, Gauke and Treasury Mandarins of hounding Avon ladies, mobile hairdressers, people selling things on E-Bay, people in the “Black Economy”, some of whom have been “sanctioned”(denied benefits by the DWP).
    He presided over the working tax credits fiasco without any apology and is even worse than the Guardian Media Group and the family of Margaret Hodge Oppenheimer who are tax avoiders of a very high order despite their respective positions which purport to occupy “the high ground”.

    Harnett also did nothing to go after the bankers and those eminence grise behind them following the financial crisis in the way that Iceland and its SuperBailiff still is.

    UK taxpayers have been made to pay again and again because this tax official was asleep on his watch and for that he is now being richly rewarded.

    The lesson this sorry tale sends to the population and to the young is do whatever you have to do to make money, do a poor job and wait to be rewarded.

    Hartnett is of course not alone and is typical of the Westminster and City elite such as outgoing Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, who always get rewarded no matter how badly they perform.

    • John,

      Many thanks for sharing this additional data.

      Perhaps, governance in the Public Sector is not rigorous and boards should have a majority of non-execs from outside the public sector?

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