28 October 2011
Law firm Leigh Day & Co has written to HMRC on behalf of UK Uncut Legal Action – an NGO inspired by the anti-cuts direct action group UK Uncut – threatening a legal challenge over the Revenue’s alleged 'sweetheart’ tax deal with the global investment bank, Goldman Sachs.
They say that they will take legal action if a settlement that they believe was reached between HMRC and Goldman Sachs in December 2010, which could have saved the London based bank £10m in interest on unpaid taxes, is not quashed.
The legal action will put further pressure on the HMRC, as it follows the leaking of documents which show how top tax officials apparently shook hands late last year on the secret settlement, which UK Uncut Legal Action claim was contrary to HMRC’s own policies and therefore unlawful.
Leigh Day & Co has issued a letter before claim to HMRC allowing them 14 days to reconsider any settlement with the US firm. The London based law firm has confirmed that in the absence of a satisfactory response they will issue proceedings seeking specific disclosure for all internal documents regarding the process by which any agreement was reached between HMRC and Goldman Sachs regarding the £40m allegedly owed by the US banking giant.
Murray Worthy, Director of UK Uncut Legal Action said “Ordinary people will see this as incredibly unfair. The chief tax man appears to have secretly agreed to allow a multi-million pound bank pay millions less in tax, while ordinary people are paying for the massive £850bn bank bailout with their jobs, social security payments, pensions and health service.”
Richard Stein from Leigh Day & Co said: “If this was an error by a junior official then it can be rectified through quashing this settlement. It must not be swept under the carpet or buried within oak panelled rooms. It is money which should be contributing to all aspects of the country.”
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