NAO to probe HMRC settlements with mulitnationals

TAX BOSSES are facing an inquiry into how they strike deals with multinationals following accusations that Vodafone was let off a £6bn bill.

The National Audit Office (NAO) yesterday confirmed it was in the ‘early stages’ of the probe and will look into how tax inspectors reach settlements with large firms, the Daily Mail reported.

An NAO spokesman told the newspaper: “We are reviewing HMRC’s procedures for resolving tax disputes. Given Vodafone and other similar cases, we thought it would be a good idea to look at the procedures by which the settlements are reached.”

The results of the review will be published in July, according to the Mail.

Some staff are unhappy at the approach taken by Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s permanent secretary for tax, who is accused of being too soft on companies and reaching cosy settlements with multinational companies over bills rather than launching expensive court battles, the Mail added.

Leaks from HMRC last year suggested that Vodafone had shirked its tax duties, and led to protests outside the mobile phone company’s stores.

HMRC has said the suggestion that Vodafone owed £6bn was an “urban myth”.


(Picture: © Avaragado, via Flickr)

Related reading