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TSC member calls for clarity over Goldman Sachs tax deal

Treasury select committee member Chuka Umunna is calling on HM Revenue & Customs to release information about a tax settlement arrangement with Goldman Sachs which he says saved the investment bank £10.8m.

Goldman Sachs struck a deal with HMRC in 2010 after a long running dispute and was let off interest on 10 years of missed payments.

Saturday’s Guardian reports the Labour MP (pictured) made the call in last week’s TSC sub-committee hearing on the administration and effectiveness of HMRC. He said: “It is clearly in the public interest for HMRC to put more information into the public domain.”

Umunna said the lack of disclosure could lead the public to believe there is “one rule for some companies and another for individual taxpayers”.

It is not the Streatham MP’s first sortie on the tax record of banks. In January, during a marathon TSC hearing, he accused Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond of presiding over a company engaged in tax avoidance on a “grand scale”.

Both banks are now signed up to the Government’s code of practice on taxation for banks which commits them to working with HMRC “openly and transparently” and to avoiding tax results “contrary to the intentions of Parliament”.

An HMRC spokesman says: “Taxpayer confidentiality is a statutory legal duty on HMRC. We have said all we can concerning Goldman Sachs.”

But Umunna says the Revenue should follow its own precedent set when it gave the committee files on Vodafone following public and media controversy over a similar settlement which protest group UKUncut claim saved the firm around £6bn.


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