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HMRC denies influence from multinationals

Bosses at HMRC have leapt to the defence of the taxman’s £130m Google settlement, as Public Accounts Committee MPs claimed that multinational firms have too much influence over tax officials.

Dame Lin Homer, Chief Executive for HMRC, told the cross-party committee that companies such as Google do not have any more power over HMRC than any other company. She told attendees:

“We make them pay more tax and if I am honest I would like to see more recognition of that.”

Director General for Business Tax, Jim Harra, also addressed the committee. He added:

“I do understand the [public] anger, and I think HMRC and the government position is that the current penalty legislation does not work for large companies in the way it should.”

MPs challenged Harra with such queries as the cost of Google’s tax audit. He did not to give a direct answer but did say that the cost was high, in large part due to the complex process of transferring price access.

He went on to say that it can be challenged and that Google can resign itself to changing its stance, but that it is hard to determine whether the company has carried out sufficient care or not.

What remains clear in all this is that the tax body is still on the warpath against those firms it believes may be failing to submit accurate records. This is why having the books in order is so important. Fortunately, professional accountants in the Wirral are capable of achieving that very deed.

Posted by Peter
February 18, 2016
HMRC

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