Revenue denies ‘cosy’ NAO alliance

Revenue denies 'cosy' NAO alliance

The head of the Inland Revenue has angrily denied a 'cosy relationship' exists between the Revenue and the National Audit Office during a grilling by the Public Accounts Committee.

Sir Nick Montagu defended the Revenue’s actions following a critical report from the National Audit Office on the self-assessment income tax regime.

Barry Gardiner MP accused the Revenue of having a cosy relationship with the NAO as reviews on collection shortcomings highlighted by the NAO report had been put in train just before the report was published last July.

But Sir Nick challenged the allegation that the Revenue had only taken action because it knew what the NAO was going to say. He said the reviews would have taken place in any case.

The reviews concerned the effectiveness of determinations, pursuit of outstanding returns and the selection of case enquiries.

Sir Nick said the changes would have happened in any event, but that data had not been available earlier.

The meeting of the PAC was the first to be chaired by new chairman Edward Leigh, who took over from David Davis, the new chairman of the Tory party.

During the grilling Richard Bacon MP referred to an Accountancy Age article on the number of ACCA accountants who had said they had experienced difficulties completing the self-assessment forms.

Sir Nick said he did not believe the article, but took the opportunity to remind Bacon to vote for him in the Accountancy Age awards ‘Personality of the year’ competition.

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