TaxCorporate TaxHartnett to face MPs over Goldman Sachs ‘sweetheart’ deal

Hartnett to face MPs over Goldman Sachs 'sweetheart' deal

Leaked documents suggest permanent secretary for tax shook hands on deal that lost £10m for the Exchequer

THE HEAD of HM Revenue & Customs will face MPs today over allegations he allowed investment bankers Goldman Sachs to escape £10m in interest payments.

Documents leaked to Private Eye suggest that Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax, allowed the bank to forego interest payments on a failed tax avoidance scheme.

Hartnett will face the Public Accounts Committee this afternoon. The documents suggest that the previous PAC chairman, Edward Leigh, was misled when he was told that the publishing of details of such agreements was illegal.

The scheme involved employee benefits trust set up in the British Virgin Islands to avoid paying National Insurance on staff bonuses, which averaged £191,000 for a junior banker in 1999. In 2005, HMRC proved that the schemes were illegitimate, but Goldman Sachs refused to pay the £40m it was owed. According to the Guardian, In July, HMRC counsel Malcolm Gammie gave “broadly positive” advice that HMRC should be able to claim the full amount.

However, Hartnett was alleged to have shaken hands on a deal worth £30m

A HMRC statement to the Guardian said: “The picture you have been given is incomplete and therefore fundamentally flawed but taxpayer confidentiality prevents us from correcting your story in detail. Dave Hartnett’s long career in the tax service has been built on ensuring the right tax is paid by large businesses and individuals alike. HMRC does not do ‘sweetheart’ deals.”

Related Articles

‘Google tax’ nets HMRC £281m

Corporate Tax ‘Google tax’ nets HMRC £281m

3m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
OTS report: Corporation tax should follow accounts

Corporate Tax OTS report: Corporation tax should follow accounts

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
HMRC tax evasion assistance requests double in five years

Corporate Tax HMRC tax evasion assistance requests double in five years

5m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Spring Budget 2017: Making Tax Digital

Business Regulation Spring Budget 2017: Making Tax Digital

9m Shereen Ali, Deputy Editor
Tax fraud loses HMRC £16bn

Corporate Tax Tax fraud loses HMRC £16bn

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC nets £2.6bn in corporate tax from big businesses

Corporate Tax HMRC nets £2.6bn in corporate tax from big businesses

11m Accountancy Age editorial
Tax crackdown brings in £468m for HMRC

Corporate Tax Tax crackdown brings in £468m for HMRC

11m Accountancy Age editorial
Treasury Select Committee report released on Making Tax Digital

Accounting Standards Treasury Select Committee report released on Making Tax Digital

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer