The Goldman Sachs tax bill

IS THERE much to learn from HMRC’s apparent cock-up over the Goldman Sachs tax bill.

You’ll remember that the taxman has admitted a mistake which cost £8m in lost tax revenues while negotiating with the investment bank over tax on an employee benefit schemes. So far the taxman has refused to disclose what the error was for confidentiality reasons.

Firstly, there is a public interest in knowing something about the error. There must be ways the taxman can manage this. The bigger picture appears to be emerging however is the unwillingness to renegotiate the deal once this error was known.

This will send a poor message out to taxpayers everywhere who will have suffered at the unyielding hand of the taxman over much smaller sums. Even now taxpapers are once again expecting letters saying they more tax because of PAYE coding errors.

It will be the issue of fairness that rankles with taxpayers worsening their perception of HMRC competence. Of course, the only this could only be cleared up if we understand how the error came about. Especially as senior figures appeared to have received legal against renegotiation. Difficult times indeed for HMRC. 

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