Parliamentary Hearing on Tax Avoidance with the Big Four

Following an exchange of emails I had last year with the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP on the issues addressed by the Public Accounts Committee of HMRC and multinational business tax avoidance, I was delighted to receive another email from the Public Accounts Committee last week informing me that the Committee will be holding a hearing on the subject with the Big Four Accountancy firms on 31st January 2013.

As regular readers will know, my evidence was circulated to the Public Accounts Committee last year by the chair of the Committee and, since then, I have written many articles on the subject, as well as having sat on the panel of an Edinburgh University debate on the issue. I shall, therefore, be anticipating the outcome of that hearing with great interest and look forward to discussing with my learned friends at KPMG!

The report published by the Public Accounts Committee addressed much of the concerns I have discussed in the past:

  • It is unclear whether HMRC has the necessary resources or are devoting the time and effort to collect the appropriate level of tax and highlights the inconsistencies in the system which affect all of us tax payers every day
  • We are concerned that multinationals have an unfair competitive advantage over British businesses which have no choice but to pay their corporation tax.
  • The six conclusions and recommendations of the report summarise the Committee’s findings: The UK Government needs to get a grip on large corporations which generate significant income in the UK but pay little or no tax.
  • HMRC needs to be seen to challenge practices to prevent the abuse of transfer pricing, royalty payments, intellectual property pricing and interest payments.
  • HMRC is too passive in its approach to closing the tax gap.
  • This Committee lacks confidence that HMRC both has and is using the business intelligence systems it needs.
  • HMRC is unduly complacent about the rollout of the Real Time Information (RTI) system and the child benefit changes.
  • HMRC is persistently unable to get a grip of error and fraud in tax credits.

Ricky worked as an Investigator in the Inland Revenue for over 20 years before founding Steedman & Company in 1987, giving him the experience and knowledge that’s enabled him to help so many clients over the years.

His appearance on a Channel 4 television programme about the inside workings of Revenue and Customs was watched by 4.1m, sealing his status as one of the most highly respected tax consultants working in Scotland today.

Ricky leads all tax investigation and COP 9 cases, using his extensive knowledge to help people reach a positive resolution to their situation.