Sunday, July 8, 2012

Revenue chiefs face tax avoidance row after undercover investigation - including the head of ethics

Tax chiefs at Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs were last night accused of having links to companies engaged in potential tax avoidance.

An in-depth undercover investigation alleges that senior directors of HMRC were connected with companies that may have been involved in limiting tax bills.

The claims come after Chancellor George Osborne condemned tax avoidance as ‘morally repugnant’, even though it is legal.

The investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, Secrets Of The Taxman, to be broadcast tomorrow, alleges:

HMRC ethics chief Phil Hodkinson earns more than £125,000 a year from a company based in the tax haven of Guernsey.
John Spence, until recently the Revenue’s audit committee chief, is the chairman of a major estate agents chain whose staff offered advice on avoiding stamp duty.
The Revenue has awarded a contract for collecting millions of pounds of unpaid tax to a firm owned by a group based in Guernsey.

Last night, HMRC denied any wrongdoing, saying there was no conflict of interest in the directors’ other work. Read More