Treasury evades costly tax questions

Treasury evades costly tax questions

Avoiding the question: the Treasury's keeping quiet

What are the chances of the Treasury revealing its estimates of the likely
cost of the group litigation orders – the mammoth tax cases being brought by
around a thousand multi-nationals?

Pretty slim, on the evidence of the responses to Accountancy Age’s
Freedom of Information Act request on the topic.

The Treasury’s response in full was that it would be too expensive to find
the documents we had asked for, and that even the documents it had found, in the
time it had been looking, were exempted for several reasons. It would damage the
economy, it implied, damage policy formulation and prejudice relations with the
ECJ.

Some have put the figure at between £10bn and £20bn, potentially upsetting
the Chancellor’s budget arithmetic.

Accountancy Age asked for the five most recent policy documents
discussing the fiscal impact of the actions. The Treasury said that initial
searches it had done had yielded 17,000 results, and that it would thus take too
long to conclude the search. ‘Six officials spent a total of 25 hours searching
for information within the scope of your request,’ the response said.

Waseem Khokkar, a tax lawyer at DLA Piper Rudnick and formerly of Dorsey
& Whitney, where he was involved with the actions, said: ‘It’s a bit
disingenuous to say there are 17,000 documents that relate [to the GLOs’
impact]. There has been a lot of documentation going backwards and forwards. But
I would be surprised if there are more than half a dozen [on what they are
worth].’

Related Articles

Paul Morton, Tax Director, Office of Tax Simplification

Administration Paul Morton, Tax Director, Office of Tax Simplification

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

7m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

8m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC issues updated Trusts Registration Service guidance

Administration HMRC issues updated Trusts Registration Service guidance

8m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

9m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
‘Improve rather than lose’ disincorporation relief, tax body urges

Administration ‘Improve rather than lose’ disincorporation relief, tax body urges

10m Austin Clark, Reporter
Are you ready for the Trusts Registration Service?

Administration Are you ready for the Trusts Registration Service?

10m Helen Thornley, ATT Technical Officer
Advisers bullish despite Brexit concerns

Accounting Standards Advisers bullish despite Brexit concerns

2y Fraser Simpson, Reporter