Tailby: HMRC needs external help to fight tax avoidance

by Kevin Reed

More from this author

08 Feb 2013

  • Comments
HM Revenue and Customs

THE FORMER DIRECTOR of anti-avoidance at HMRC has urged further investment at the department to fight tax dodgers - including hiring more external expertise.

Chris Tailby, who served as director of HMRC's anti-avoidance group between 2004 and 2009, told Accountancy Age that Big Four and industry tax specialists should be recruited to help fight tax avoidance.

"They were worth every penny in that they had the commercial knowledge and experience to identify transactions which were purely for tax, and those which were done for commercial reasons," said Tailby.

He was dismissive of the Public Accounts Committee's concerns - voiced a week ago - that HMRC works too closely with tax professionals and other parties when consulting on tax rules.

"We don't want law that creates unintended consequences," said Tailby. "You will always have advisers on the spivvy end of the market, so it's best to get the tax law right - you need input from a lot of people."

Some pre-consultation discussions with "trusted" advisers had been helpful to him while at HMRC - sounding out whether anti-avoidance plans had the potential to work.

"I had some trusted external guys who I could ask ‘if I did this...' - sometimes they would say ‘great', or sometimes ‘no'.

The committee had questioned Big Four tax heads as part of their investigation into tax avoidance, with chair Margaret Hodge claiming that they were too close to government in influencing the formation of tax law - a claim vigorously denied by the witnesses.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
display:none

Add your comment

We won't publish your address


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

Submit
  • Send

Financial Planning and Performance AnalystCabinet Office-Greater London-Competitive

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Newsletters

Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials

Careers

Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you

Briefings

budget-management

Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.

cchcover

iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.