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UK Uncut Legal Action serving papers in person against HMRC at their headquarters

Campaigning group proceed with legal action against HM Revenue & Customs

UK Uncut Legal Action logo

22 December 2011

UK Uncut Legal Action, an NGO inspired by the anti-cuts direct action group UK Uncut with lawyers from Leigh Day & Co will serve legal papers on HMRC at their headquarters in London this afternoon after issuing proceedings in the High Court this morning over the alleged Goldman Sachs ‘sweetheart’ tax deal.

The campaigning group revealed earlier this week that they had made the decision to go forward with the case after receiving what they term a ‘dismissive’ response from HMRC to letters from their lawyers demanding the alleged deal, agreed between David Hartnett and Goldman Sachs, is quashed.

UK Uncut Legal Action have welcomed scrutiny into tax deals from both the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reports but claim the legal action they are taking is the only mechanism that can result in a declaration that the Goldman Sachs tax deal was unlawful, as well as returning £20 million to the public purse.

Leigh Day & Co who are acting for UK Uncut Legal Action, confirmed in a letter sent in October that if the settlement reached between HMRC and Goldman Sachs, allegedly allowing the company off £20million worth of tax owed, was not reversed it would issue these proceedings which seek specific disclosure for all internal documents regarding the process by which agreement was reached.

Rosa Curling lawyer from Leigh Day & Co said: “We will be serving these papers on HMRC this afternoon. It is our client's intention to take this case as far as necessary to ensure money is returned from Goldman Sachs to the taxpayers of this country.

“We have heard all the excuses from both the Government and from HMRC in response to the PAC report earlier this week. We have heard that more in tax was gathered last year than ever before, however, unless it is 100% of what is owed then it simply isn’t good enough, especially at a time when the government is also making cuts to vital public services.”

UK Uncut Legal Action has launched a public fundraising appeal, which has raised nearly £14,000 in two weeks with over two thousand people making small donations. This represents what the campaign group is calling a ’people’s court case’ against HMRC.

Tim Street, director of UK Uncut Legal Action said:
“There is overwhelming public support from thousands of ordinary people who want to see this dodgy tax deal challenged in the courts. It shows the deep level of outrage that people feel over state sanctioned tax dodging by big business, while government destroys public services that ordinary people rely on, saying that there is no money.

He continued, “It shows that the government is making a political choice to turn a blind eye to tax dodging- which loses the public purse £25bn billion a year. The government is slashing public services and the support for the poorest instead of clamping down on rich tax dodgers. This cannot be allowed to continue. Dave Hartnett’s retirement is welcome news for campaigners but HMRC needs a massive culture change to stop special treatment for corporations and secret unlawful handshake deals”.

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