HMRC and the technology outsourcers that manage its computer systems came under fire in the parliamentary debate on tax avoidance this week, reported our sister site PublicTechnology.net.
During the exchanges, Ian Swales, the Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, posed the questions: “Is it right that Accenture, Capgemini and others win government contracts when they are named as aggressive tax avoiders? Should HMRC itself have sold its buildings for leaseback to Mapeley, a Bermuda-based company?”
Swales highlighted the uncomfortable truth that in many instances profits being reaped through private finance initiatives and government outsourcing contracts are being channeled offshore.
“The government has fuelled the frenzy by doing private finance initiative and outsourcing deals with tax avoiders," he said.
Accenture came under heavy fire from John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington.
“Accenture, which has a £9.6bn contract with HMRC to supply technical support, managed to reduce its tax bill to 3.5%, paying only £2.8m in tax on nearly £82m of profits in Britain last year," he said.