MPs make HMRC lawyer swear on oath

MPs TOOK the unusual step of making a civil servant swear on oath, when questioning him on the tax deal between HM Revenue & Customs and Goldman Sachs.

HMRC general counsel Anthony Inglese faced the Public Accounts Committee yesterday. He was questioned about a meeting of HMRC staff in which, according to minutes, he said that the deal between the investment bank and HMRC over unpaid National Insurance contributions was “unconscionable”.

A deal was struck between HMRC and Goldman Sachs over a £30.8m tax bill related to bonuses.

PAC chairwoman Margaret Hodge (pictured) made Inglese swear on oath following a series of questions which he refused to answer, citing legal privilege.

Inglese was forced to admit that the deal, which lost the Exchequer up to £8m in interest, could have been renegotiated. It has emerged that the lost revenue was due to an HMRC error – the taxman believed there was an impediment to claiming interest on unpaid National Insurance contributions.

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