Dave Hartnett the recently retired Permanent Secretary for Tax at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a controversial—some might say “scumbag”—career civil servant with a reputation for cutting sweet, sweet tax deals for the likes of Goldman-Sachs and Vodafone, allowing these entities to escape billions of pounds of British taxes. Articles in Private Eye and The Guardian newspaper exposed how these sweetheart deals went down.
Hartnett calls his negotiating skills—which, among other things, have cost the Treasury tens of millions of pounds in interest that Goldman Sachs should have paid dating back to 2002 because he waived them without even consulting with HMRC laywers—“non-confrontational” and “collaborative”!
Via The Telegraph:
Mr Hartnett was giving a speech at New College Oxford on Thursday when a group calling themselves WeAreTheIntruders, posing as employees of Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, interrupted to present him with a bouquet of flowers and the “Lifetime Achievement Award to Corporate Tax Planning”, otherwise known as the “Golden Handshake”.
HMRC was accused of agreeing controversial “sweetheart” deals with large businesses over outstanding tax bills while it was still run by Mr Hartnett. The issue exploded last year after a whistleblower revealed that HMRC had waived as much as £20m of interest on a £30m tax bill owed by Goldmans on bankers’ bonuses. It was also accused of letting Vodafone off as much as £8bn in taxes by accepting a £1.25bn settlement.
I wholeheartedly approve of things like this. but I just wish they’d have presented this bastard with the “Golden Shiv Award” right in his fucking rib-cage…