PracticeAuditLet’s judge the results

Let's judge the results

Last week's National Audit Office report into the Inland Revenue's £1.5bn property deal with Bermuda-based Mapeley offers an important lesson.

The then chairman, Sir Nick Montagu, was chastised with such ferocity by MPs and the media that you could almost forget what he was being attacked for.

And that is the worrying point. The deal was heralded by the media as controversial because the Revenue had sold its property to a company registered in a tax haven. But the fact remains that the deal saved the taxpayer £300m. There were risks – but you can’t expect such savings with no risk.

The new combined tax department, when fully operational, will provide savings and efficiency improvements. But there will be many harbingers of doom before we get to that point. Let’s keep a sense of perspective for the department’s new executive chairman. The job will be challenging enough without letting the political hounds loose. Email comment@accountancyage.com. ?:

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