UK Uncut: HMRC deals ‘shocking’
BBC Radio Four ‘Today’- 20 December 2011
UK Uncut demands legal review of HM Revenue and Customs deal
The Telegraph- 20 December 2011
MPs say HMRC are ‘too cosy’ with the City
The Telegraph- 20 December 2011
Tax chiefs face mauling from MPs
Yorkshire Post- 20 December 2011
MPs blast tax chief for ‘cosy deals with big firms
Daily Mirror- 20 December 2011
Firms’ £25bn tax let-offs
The Sun- 20 December 2011
HM Revenue and Customs ‘hiding corporations’ unpaid tax worth £25bn’
The Metro- 20 December 2011
Tax Avoidance: HMRC stands accused
New Statesman- 20 December 2011
HMRC ‘bent rules’ for big firms
Channel Four News- 20 December 2011
Big firms let off £25billion in taxes
Daily Mail- 20 December 2011
UK Uncut vindicated? Commons report backs protext group
Politics.co.uk- 20 December 2011
MPs attack HMRC’s ‘cosy’ deals with big business
BBC News- 20 December 2011
MPs accuse tax chiefs of ‘cosy’ deals with big firms
Evening Standard- 20 December 2011
UK Uncut pushes for legal action against Goldman Sachs after report points finger on unpaid tax
This is Money- 20 December 2011
UK Uncut accuses Revenue & Customs of delaying judicial review
The Guardian – 22 November 2011
HMRC ‘stalling’ over tax deal case, say lawyers
Morning Star Online – 23 November 2011
NAO seeks tax expertise as HMRC faces legal challenge on Goldman deal
Tax Journal – 22 November 2011
Anger over Goldman interest on UK tax bill
Financial Times- 7 November 2011
Goldman’s HMRC deal faces challenge
Financial Times- 28 October 2011
UK Uncut target Goldman Sachs’ £10m tax deal
Guardian- 28 October 2011
Law firm Leigh Day & Co have written to HMRC on behalf of UK Uncut Legal Action – a campaign group inspired by the anti-cuts direct action network UK Uncut – threatening a legal challenge over the Revenue’s ‘sweetheart’ tax deal with the global investment bank, Goldman Sachs. 
They say that they will take legal action if a settlement that was reached between HMRC and Goldman Sachs in December 2010 – which reportedly saved the banking giant £10m in interest on unpaid taxes  – is not quashed.
The legal action will put further pressure on David Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax, as it follows the leaking of documents which show how top tax officials shook hands late last year on the secret settlement , which UK Uncut Legal Action claim was contrary to HMRC’s own policies and is therefore unlawful .
Leigh Day & Co have issued a letter before claim to HMRC allowing them 14 days to quash the settlement agreement and reconsider any settlement with the US firm to repay the sum owed to the UK treasury. The London based law firm has confirmed that if the settlement is not quashed they will issue proceedings seeking specific disclosure for all internal documents regarding the process by which the agreement was reached between HMRC and Goldman Sachs regarding the reported £40m owed.
Murray Worth from UK Uncut Legal Action said, “Most people will see this as incredibly unfair. The government’s top tax man appears to have secretly agreed to let a global investment bank off millions in tax, while ordinary people are paying for the massive £850bn bank bailout with their jobs, welfare payments, pensions and public services”.
Richard Stein from Leigh Day & Co said: “If this was an error by a junior official then that is fine and 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.”
For further comment:
Leigh Day & Co:David Standard 07540332717
Notes to Editors
 DETAILS OF THE TAX DISPUTE
In the 1990s, Goldman Sachs set up a company offshore in the British Virgin Islands called Goldman Sachs Services Ltd, which appears to have been designed to conceal the size of their bankers’ bonuses. Goldman Sachs also begrudged paying its share of UK national insurance on these six-figure bonuses.
The company, along with 21 other investment banks and other firms, purchased blueprints for an avoidance scheme called an employee benefit trust (EBT). It took the Revenue until 2005 for the courts to rule that these EBTs were merely illegitimate tax avoidance devices. Whilst the other firms surrendered and handed over what they owed, Goldman Sachs refused to pay its £30.81m bill.
By 2010, it is estimated that the unpaid bill with accumulated interest had mounted to £40mn.
In April 2010 a judge threw out the claim from the bankers that their true employer was in the British Virgin Islands. In July 2011, HMRC’s own QC, Malcolm Gammie, gave “broadly positive” advice that the government was in a strong position to get all of its money.
However, it has been reported that on 30 November 2011, a high-level HMRC committee heard that their top expert, David Hartnett, had met Goldman’s tax director, Mike Housden, and as a result “a late submission had come in about a deal on which Dave Hartnett had ‘shaken hands’ with Goldman Sachs”. The government was not going to get its full £40m, but only £30m.
According to the Guardian (11 October 2011) HMRC sources privately confirm that £10m of taxpayers’ money was thrown away because of a “technical mistake” by an unidentified official, junior to Hartnett, who misinterpreted the law. They claim that the National Audit Office, which audits HMRC accounts, has accepted the situation.
 See the Guardian article
 Please see the letter before claim sent to HMRC. Email or phone for a copy of the letter.