ARC in the FT: Union responds to Public Accounts Committee report on HMRC’s investigation into Google


The Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) - the FDA section representing senior HM Revenue and Customs officials - is quoted in the Financial Times, responding to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on corporate tax settlements.

The PAC - a cross-party select committee of MPs - concluded that the £130m paid by Google in a recent settlement with HMRC seemed "disproportionately small compared with the size of Google's business in the UK".

The Committee raised concerns about the "absence of full transparency" and called on HMRC to consult on opening the tax affairs of multinational companies to public scrutiny.

However, the article also reports the view of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation's John Vella, who felt that anyone looking into the details of tax settlements "must have considerable time and expertise", adding that he is "not sure MPs have enough of either".

Judith Freedman, Professor of taxation law at Oxford university, also said a better system of scrutiny was required.

 The Association of Revenue and Customs said it welcomed the report, which did not find that HMRC entered into any kind of "deal", and agreed with the opinions of Vella and Freedman:

"We feel that a parliamentary committee . . . may not be best equipped to consider individual cases, which involve issues of complex tax law, accountancy and international treaties".

Read more:

 'Impossible to judge' if Google paid enough tax, say MPs
Financial Times