Readers split on whether Hartnett should leave

ACCOUNTANCY AGE readers are split on whether Dave Hartnett (pictured) should resign as HM Revenue & Customs permanent secretary for tax.

Almost 600 responded to the question “is it the right time for Hartnett to leave?”. In a week of voting, 51% believed he should stay, with 49% calling for him to go.

The poll followed a troubling two weeks for Hartnett, in which he faced MPs in the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry into a deal with Goldman Sachs over National Insurance payments and a row over PAYE errors.

Mike Warburton, tax director at Grant Thornton, said: “I think as a practical manner, Hartnett is the only member of the board with significant tax experience and I think it will be detrimental to the good running of the service if he left. There is a lot of work to be done and he is the best person to do it.

“Long term, I think it would be good if the HMRC board had more people with tax experience. At the moment, it puts the burden on one person, as the Goldman Sachs affair shows.”

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