Does HMRC actually understand the law?

I have a feeling that they don\’t:

If companies are found not to have moved high-level staff in appropriate numbers, firms may be levied fines and forced to pay back tens of millions of pounds in tax.

A senior HMRC source said: \”We will be looking for substantial evidence that a move has taken place and is genuine. We will want to see emails to establish there has been a physical relocation and that the brains of the company has moved.\”

For where (within EFTA) a company is tax resident is not a matter of British law any more. It\’s a matter of EU law. And that EU law says that it\’s where the brass plate is.

That\’s pretty much it: EU law is superiror (not in the sense of being better of course, solely in the sense of superseding) UK law and there\’s an end to it.

Try looking up the \”Bolkestein Directive\”.

Update. As usual, Ritchie doesn\’t get it.

6 comments on “Does HMRC actually understand the law?

  1. One has to ask whether the sclerotic corrupt EU is worse than a deranged socialist government. This is not the first example where one thinks “phew, saved by the EU”.

  2. HMRC don’t give a shit what the law says; if they want your money they will harass you until they get it. The process is the punishment.

  3. moved high-level staff in appropriate numbers … that the brains of the company has moved.

    Do companies have to prove that the high-level staff are the brains of the company? Has HMRC never read Dilbert?

  4. Are you sure about that?

    A company based in Ireland could still have a permanent establishment (a branch, more or less) in the UK, to which HMRC could attribute most (or all) the profit earned by the Irish company.

    I think they understand this, but need to dumb things down for Guardian readers.

  5. re Kay Tie- indeed- and it is one explanation for the recent (and in my view short sighted) Irish referendum result- that the Irish people felt that nothing worse could exist that their present government.

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