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HMRC to appear in court over Goldman Sachs tax settlement

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HMRC will be forced to defend itself in court against an allegation that it gave a ‘sweetheart tax deal’ to Goldman Sachs, The Guardian reported today.

HMRC admitted that an official’s ‘mistake’ resulted in no interest being charged on unpaid tax when the parties settled a long-running tax dispute. The department wrongly believed that there was a ‘legal impediment’ to charging Goldman interest, Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s Permanent Secretary for Tax, told the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The agreement ‘could be quashed after the high court allowed a preliminary permission hearing to take place on June 13th following court filings made by the activist group UK Uncut Legal Action,’ according to The Guardian.

The paper quoted Tim Street of UK Uncut Legal Action as saying: ‘We're pleased we will be able to present our arguments at this hearing and look forward to the judge granting us permission to proceed with a judicial review.

‘A judicial review is clearly necessary and we're confident that we have a strong case. The decision by HMRC to let Goldman Sachs off an alleged £10m tax bill must be reversed and the money handed over to the public purse.’

The Guardian report added that HMRC said it could not comment on ‘ongoing litigation’ and Goldman Sachs declined to offer any comment.