Public AccountsWritten evidence from HM Revenue and Customs

At the end of yesterday’s hearing you asked a series of questions about the role of particular advisers in discussions between HMRC and taxpayers.

To ensure quick clarification on one of your main questions, I am writing to confirm that it is not HMRC’s practice to engage the Big Four accountancy firms to act for us in any cases with a taxpayer. A trawl of senior officials involved in large disputes today has confirmed that none has any recollection of any case where any of the Big Four were engaged for tax advice to HMRC.

I will write again in due course in response to the other points on which I promised follow up notes during the hearing. With regard to the Committee’s questions about how often particular advisers were engaged by taxpayers to support them, I hope to be able to write again soon with information relating to the 27 cases that were selected for review by the National Audit Office. However, it would take very considerable time and effort to try to gather similar information for all settlements over £50 million across the whole period the Committee is interested in, and I therefore plan to limit our further work to the 27 cases.

Lin Homer
Chief Executive

27 June 2013

Prepared 8th October 2013