Oh my word, was Timmy right?

The evidence coming from Mr. Mba on the Goldman Sachs, Harnett \”deal\”.

Mr Hartnett is Britain\’s leading taxman but faced a political storm in October when HMRC confirmed it struck a deal with Goldman on waiving interest of \”smaller than £10m\” on a £30m tax bill. The tax was on bankers\’ bonuses paid through an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands, a tax loophole eventually closed by Gordon Brown.

However, Mr Mba said the interest payments amount to around £20m. He said it includes £10.8m of interest accrued up to October 2005, on top of that from October 2005 to February 2011. The total liability facing the US bank was around £43m, not £30m, Mr Mba added.

And that looks very close to what I said had been going on two months ago.

No banks paid interest on the money up to 2005. Goldman arguably should as they didn\’t settle but fought. But maybe they didn\’t and that is where the £10 million comes from. Or perhaps they should have paid interest from 05 onwards, while they fought, but they didn\’t. That would also be about £10 million.

So the whole argument is about which of the two interest payments they should have paid but did not, leading to the discussion about wherther they were \”let off\” £10 or £20 million.

I don\’t say that I actually got it right mind, too early for that. Only that I do seem to have managed to lay out the problem properly, something no one else was doing two months ago.

All of which makes me very interested indeed to see what the rumoured coming enquiry is going to say about Vodafone.

Would be so very interesting if I was right there, wouldn\’t it?


3 thoughts on “Oh my word, was Timmy right?”

  1. It still doesn’t look good that this was agreed by a senior official at HMRC flying out and meeting GS execs on his own in a New York cafe, not taking notes.

  2. Just occasionally, I wonder whether someone should have his bank accounts scrutinised. I’ve had that feeling sometimes about judges, but more often about commissars.

    Of course, such scrutiny might yield very little if the expected pay-off is a jolly well-paid job after leaving office – but that should be fairly easy to legislate about. Not that it will be legislated about, of course.

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