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Double deals and handshakes have caused controversy at the HMRC as it was exposed that Goldman Sachs were unofficially excused £10million in tax payments.
Nigerian born Osita Mba an HMRC solicitor is facing disciplinary procedures after it was revealed that he had spoken out against the taxman’s deal with Goldman Sachs. The permanent secretary for tax at HMRC David Hartnett had made the handshake agreement over a year ago to excuse Goldman Sachs for the outstanding tax payments.
The HMRC solicitor Osita Mba is revealed in Public Accounts Committee evidence as questioning why the taxman failed to collect interest from Goldman Sachs during their dispute over a tax bill. His presentation of concerns to the committee has seen Mba investigated by HMRC. He currently cannot enter HMRC offices without an escort from his line manager, and is due to meet officials.
Committee chair Margaret Hodge said that HMRC behaviour towards Mba was “harassment and completely unacceptable”, reported by The Guardian.
An HMRC spokesman said that the department was looking to establish the full facts before deciding on its next course of action. Escorting staff undergoing an investigation was “standard procedure”, and was also intended to protect them during the process.
Hartnett reached an agreement with Goldman a year ago whereby it did not have to pay back about £10m interest on tax it had avoided. The bank was found to have employed London-based workers in the British Virgin Islands where they did not have to pay tax on bonuses.
Mba, who trained as a barrister in Nigeria and completed his master’s degree at Oxford, worked in the personal tax litigation team from February 2007 until November last year. He wrote to Amyas Morse, the auditor general of the National Audit Office, in March, outlining his concerns over the deal. The subsequent NAO report did not name Goldman Sachs.