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UK Uncut asks for judicial review into Goldman Sachs tax deal

UK Uncut asks for judicial review into Goldman Sachs tax deal

UK Uncut has started formal legal proceedings in a bid to reverse HMRC’s decision to let Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, off paying up to £20 million interest on its tax bill.

A few days before Christmas, the action group logged an application in the administrative court calling for a judicial review and claiming that the Revenue has tried to avoid giving details of the deal to the Public Accounts Committee.

The Revenue has admitted that a mistake was made in the agreement. According to a National Audit Office estimate, the Exchequer lost between £5 million and £8 million because of the error. However, an HMRC whistleblower said the loss was nearer to £20 million.

UK Uncut Legal Action released a statement saying a judicial review to reverse the decision was in the public interest and Goldman Sachs should be forced to reimburse UK taxpayers with the £20 million.

Law firm Leigh Day & Co is supporting UK Uncut and will be representing them on a no win no fee basis. Richard Stein explained that the lawyers wrote to the Revenue last October asking them to reverse the decision and reclaim the money from Goldman Sachs, which is one of the richest banks in the world. However, HMRC chose not to respond. The legal firm followed up their request in November and the Revenue replied saying it needed more time.

HMRC, and Dave Hartnett in particular, came under a lot of criticism last year for treating large companies more favourably than other taxpayers. If individual taxpayers are penalised for late payment, surely large corporations should receive exactly the same treatment.

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Image: Why so glum?? by Benson Kua

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