Dec 05 2011

Dissident rebels inside UK tax authorities after sweetheart Goldman deal – Mail

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

This is remarkable, from Britain’s Daily Mail:

A rebel group of tax office staff have set up a whistleblowing network aimed at exposing what they claim to be errant bosses within HM Revenue & Customs.

The group, calling themselves Dissent, claim to have 324 members and ‘a presence in every office across the UK’ and say they are ‘tired of the corruption, ineptitude and mismanagement from within the department in recent years’.

Startling news. Given conversations I’ve had with people in HMRC in the past, this development is not entirely surprising to me. Here is a sample, from one unnamed informant cited in Treasure Islands:

‘We used to have a priority to collect tax,’ my informant said, ‘now we have a priority to have a good relationship. We have got into a situ- ation of persuading ourselves that it is a win-win to have businesses pay their taxes voluntarily, rather than have us take them to litigation.’

How did these dissidents start up? Well, according to the Mail:

Dissent appear to have formed after it emerged the country’s top tax official signed off a deal which let investment bank Goldman Sachs off a £10million tax bill.

And now we have UK Uncut weighing in with this:

Are you angry that HMRC lets big business avoid huge sums on their tax bills? Are you concerned about the impact the cuts will have on our public services? There is something you can do! Help us take HMRC to court over the deal that allowed Goldman Sachs – the global banking giant- to get away with avoiding millions in unpaid tax.

Extraordinary developments. The culture is changing, and fast. Long may it continue.

one comment

F J A Gilmour 12th December, 2011 9.55 am

Being essentially lazy, dysfunctional and populated by thieves – staff not doing their jobs properly, if at all, and then happily collecting their salaries – HMRC will always go after the easy targets such as pensioners and those who do socially useful and creative things. It simply plays the box-ticking numbers game; a masterful legacy of 13 years of socialist misrule.

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