Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Alice In Wonderland World Of Dave "Scoffer" Hartnett

Must be fantastic (in every sense) to be Dave "Scoffer" Hartnett, the apparently unsackable twat in charge (!) of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs.

Paid a modest £160,000 plus all the free lunches and dinners and overseas trips he can fit in between presiding over fuckup after farce after fuckup at HMRC, he shakes hands on a deal to let those Masters of The Universe Goldman Sachs off a paltry £10 million quid after five years of being buggered about, and then blatantly lies to the Parliamentary Committe, saying he doesn't have anything to do with their tax affairs.

I'd have thought £10 million quid was quite a lot to do with their tax affairs, and even that useless hypocrite Margaret "No Kiddy Fiddling Here" Hodge suggested he was lying.

Turns out he was just dragged into the room to kiss their ring-pieces because his junior staff had upset them, and no other senior official knew anything about tax, so it had to be him. As, apparently, it often has to be. Luckily in this tim eof cutbacks and austerity they are recruiting 2 more Commissioners who they hope might know something about tax. I don't suppose that means they'll be sacking the others, sadly.

Never mind, I'm sure the huge increase in the penalty regime for ordinary tax payers being a few days late filing returns or getting confused over the complicated rules and regulations will be used wisely to pay these chaps inflated salaries and expenses. It won't be wasted at a tax office near you, where you used to be able to go for help and advice, they've been closed.


The Penguin


Umbongo said...

As I understand these things, and as explained here, the £10 million was partial interest on the tax bill contested by Goldmans and, in line with all the other failed tax avoiders, never owed it at all. Another parallel explanation (not covered in the article cited) is that HMRC made a whopper in the first place by sending an assessment to the wrong Goldman Sachs company.

Accordingly, it's probable that the interest never arose in the first place. Why? Because interest on tax owed only starts running from the day the tax liability was created (per the HMRC demand). If HMRC only issued a correct assessment on the correct entity much later on then Hartnett - still a liar, of course - was correct to remit the interest "owed" since it was probably never legally owed anyway.

Complicated I know but - as Tim Worstall implies - the probable source of this Private Eye (non)story is not exactly known for accurate reporting (even if he is a former tax inspector) when there is a political point to be made (cf Vodaphone). But grist for the disgustingly ugly mill known as Margaret Hodge.

ArtCo said...

Well im paying the taxman an awful lot of money back that apparently I owe him. As soon as that last direct debit is paid in June, the taxman can kiss my arse. Close of business , no more from me, its just not worth it. The black economy and social security here I come.
After 35 years of paying in I want something back.

Anonymous said...

So were the same fuck ups made when he let Vodaphone off, Umbongo?. I think Artco is making more sense

Umbongo said...

Vodaphone didn't owe the money in the first place. The Private Eye "source" got that wrong as well.

Tony Blair said...

I run lots of companies and own many properties and I don't pay tax either.

You should wise up and do as I do