Despite the contract being signed in 2001, which saw 700 Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise properties transferred to Mapeley, an NAO report released today claims that ‘the STEPS deal is still bedding in and, while there have been moves on both sides to work in partnership, this has not yet been fully achieved’.
The deal caused a national outrage when it emerged that Mapeley had structured itself offshore to cut its tax bill in the UK. The NAO said in the report that ‘earlier consideration of the offshore nature’ of Mapeley would have reduced the ‘resulting negative publicity’.
Sir Nick Montagu, the recently departed Inland Revenue chairman, was supported by the NAO, however, which said the deal saved the taxpayer money, and agreed with Montagu’s argument at the time that it would have been illegal to not consider Mapeley simply because of its offshore structure.
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