UK Uncut loses judical review

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Tax avoidance protest group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost a High Court case against HMRC over the lawfulness of a tax settlement with Goldman Sachs in 2010.

The grass-roots campaign group claimed HMRC had acted illegally when it reached a so-called £20m “sweetheart deal” over the amount that the US investment bank needed to pay in tax.

The High Court judge, Mr Justice Nicol, ruled the deal was...

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Comments
carnmores's picture

total rubbish

carnmores | | Permalink

just look at the opening lines of Uncuts press release , its almost total fiction- who is funding these panjandrums anyway? Mind you i cant follow the logic, if thats what it is , of Bullock & Pinsents

cash flow    1 thanks

ver1tate | | Permalink

By 2010 HMRC had agreed the US bank should pay the amount it owed but not the interest over five years.

Hope the above helps your cash flow. Now you do not need to set aside monies for interest due to HMRC.

The High Court judge, Mr    1 thanks

secondhand_22 | | Permalink

The High Court judge, Mr Justice Nicol, ruled the deal was “not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue”, but said it was not unlawful, drawing a line under the Goldman issue.

vs

HMRC director general for business tax, Jim Harra, said the dismissal “puts to rest the fallacy that HMRC is soft on large businesses.

 

No Jim, that isn't a reasonable interpretation of the judge's comment at all.  All he ruled was not the action was not unlawful.  I don't think he ruled that HMRC were not soft on large businesses. 

Or maybe that was a part of the obiter that AW didn't publish? ;)

UK Uncut

iainx6 | | Permalink

The judge ruled that the decision accorded with the Litigation and Settlement Strategy,

He noted that the Commissioners believed that the agreement of 19th  November taken as a whole represented a good deal for the Revenue. Sir Andrew Park agreed with that assessment. The judge observed that the Claimant had not contended that the judgment of the Commissioners in this regard was irrational, or that the 19th  November agreement did not give taxpayers value for money.

I think that was as far as he could go but it was not a rebuttal of the view it was a good deal, hence I assume "not soft"?

Logic....?

dh326 | | Permalink

carnmores wrote:

just look at the opening lines of Uncuts press release , its almost total fiction- who is funding these panjandrums anyway? Mind you i cant follow the logic, if thats what it is , of Bullock & Pinsents

I agree, the logic in their statement appears to be that if you are big enough you should have the right to bully your way to a better deal than the average Jo blogs company paying the standard rate (or fine/interest etc), and that internationally you are more able to negotiate an individual settlement than you are in the UK?

Court Costs?    5 thanks

Ian McTernan CTA | | Permalink

I hope UK UnCut were ruled to pay HMRC's costs and that HMRC send them a bill for all the time and expense wasted in defending a perfectly reasonable deal.

The average man on the street thinks tax is simple 'it's 20%, right?', and UK Uncut and these other so-called 'pressure groups' pander to this in their attacks, wasting taxpayers money forcing HMRC to defend their decisions.

Part of the problem with international taxation is that every country wants to keep a big a slice of the pie as they can, whilst every company wants to keep their tax bill as low as possible, so naturally companies will design structures to minimise their taxes.

People in the public sector whose pensions aren't funded apart from coming from our pockets won't care, but for private sector employees this actually matters- as those companies are where your pension funds are invested, and the less tax the company pays the better dividend they can pay and the more value for the company, which leads to a bigger pension.

Of course the biggest theft of all time was Gordon Brown's 'I'm scrapping a tax- ACT' which in reality meant no more tax credits on dividends and which resulted in pension funds being worse off to the tune of over 10 BILLION a year.

£20 million doesn't really seem that much in comparison...

 

pembo's picture

Really ??    2 thanks

pembo | | Permalink

and Goldmans is of course a shining beacon of this philosophy.If this action was so spurious why are HMRC so relieved to see the back of it. Have you read Hartnetts emails ?

Typical comment from Sue Grabbit and Run that as ever misses the point by some distance.

Still Dave must be relieved as he continues to advise HSBC (another shining beacon of financial probity ) on how to combat "financial crime". The appreciation of irony does alas appear lost on the great and good of this country as they struggle to keep their balance on the revolving door of life.

nogammonsinanundoubledgame's picture

Whatever the merits of this case ...    5 thanks

nogammonsinanun... | | Permalink

... I personally applaud the fact that someone out there is at least testing the boundaries.  Just imagine what deals would be struck if HMRC were confident that they would not be held to account or public scrutiny.  I speculate that the rules of governance which have since been put in place would not have been brought about but for the public outrage at this deal.

If the public purse has to suffer a tiny drop in order to oil the wheels of justice in such cases then as a taxpayer I should regard that as an acceptable price to pay.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood.