minilite 11:37 20 Dec 2011

I cannot believe that HMRC has let the biggest companies in this country avoid taxes to the tune of £25 billion pounds,whilst you and i have to pick up the cost of their incompetance, Heads should roll i suppose it will end up as usual with ,Lessons will be learned

  oresome 11:45 20 Dec 2011

"Heads should roll"

The head is indeed taking retirement next year. I wonder if he will be wined and dined so often then?

  minilite 11:55 20 Dec 2011

Why wait till next year

  wee eddie 11:58 20 Dec 2011

"oresome" ~~~~~ He's owed several Directorships!

So there'll be no problem with the Restaurant Bills.

  bob. 13:30 20 Dec 2011

That's just as well because it isn't true.

The £25bn has been conjured out of the air. It is impossible to say how much tax may have been missed.

Well thats all right then. You obviously know more than our MP's Mps reveal

and if it is impossible to say, how do you know it is not £25bn. Could it be £24bn or £26bn or £30bn.

  interzone55 13:47 20 Dec 2011


It's always a good idea to read both sides of a story - from BBC

But HMRC said many of the specific criticisms by the MPs were wrong.

It admitted making a mistake in the Goldman Sachs but said there was no "systemic failure" at HMRC.

It said the figure of £25bn tax outstanding had been an initial estimate before investigation, as of March 2011, but in fact in many cases it turned out that no more tax was owed at all.

It rejected completely the whistle-blower's suggestion that in fact £20m of interest had been foregone in the Goldman Sachs case.

  SparkyJack 14:53 20 Dec 2011

I could guess that some organization are prepared to pay large suns to lawyers and accountants to avoid taxation and taken on a case by case basis the HMRC would also have to employ lawyers to counter argue- at a cost of perhaps more then the sums involved.

But as far as I am concerned if I were running the HMRC- providing the case was water tight- I would not attempt to counter any spurious legal arguments. If the tax is deemed to payable- then pay it - or the department will simply come and take it.

  Aitchbee 17:58 20 Dec 2011

I like a good stagger...sobers one up!

  Forum Editor 18:16 20 Dec 2011

The truth about HMRC is that it is under enormous pressure to recover unpaid tax revenue,and it is judged (by government) on its performance over a tax year.

Imagine yourself sitting at the head of HMRC when someone comes to you and says: 'We could go after Acme widgets,it looks as if they may have avoided a tidy sum.' You say 'How quickly can we get that tidy sum, the tax year is ticking away, and I want to show some impressive results to the Minister?'.

Your minion says 'They'll fight us in court, and they'll string it out as long as possible - it could take a couple of years. They would settle if we agreed to take what they believe they owe. On the other hand, we could wipe up a few thousand tax-dodging plumbers and builders; that would be pretty productive, and the money will come to us in a few months'

You say 'Settle with Acme, and go after the plumbers and builders - keep me updated as the money comes in'

The reality is that HMRC is facing reduced funding and staffing targets, and those at the top want to flush some extra money into the treasury coffers as quickly and as easily as possible. They'll get around to the really big fish in due time, but for the moment there are some easier pickings to be had.

  SparkyJack 10:38 21 Dec 2011

It could also be argued that law and accountancy firms that engage in tax avoidance matters could be held up to be engaging in fraudulent activity and tax avoidance on their own behalf,......perhaps maybe

  morddwyd 20:07 21 Dec 2011

"providing the case was water tight- I would not attempt to counter any spurious legal arguments."

If the case was water tight HMRC would not need expensive legal teams to counter any spurious legal arguments; a probationer could do it.

Unfortunately these big firms employ big legal teams simply to ensure that the case is not watertight.

If a firm spends £3bn on legal fees and manages to negotiate a £3bn-1 settlement then they are in profit and the legal team has done its job.

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