Barney Jones is a bit odd, eh?

A former Google executive who blew the whistle on the company’s tax avoidance scheme has described its £130million deal with HMRC as “trivial”.
Barney Jones, who worked for the internet search giant between 2002 and 2006, lifted the lid on an elaborate structure which diverts British profits through Ireland to the Bermuda tax haven.
He accused HMRC of being “asleep at the wheel” and said “heads should roll” after it failed to properly investigate a cache of evidence he gave them about the companies activities.

Mr Jones told The Telegraph that during his meetings with HMRC officials told him that “it’s the politicians that set the taxes, we just apply them”.
He said: “They were absolving responsibility for the fact that they are unable to collect tax from these larger companies.
“I said to them you were the experts for the politicians. You have a responsibility.

“HMRC have been asleep at the wheel and have let this whole thing grow up without taking strong action and heads should roll.
“This situation has been growing for 25 years. I’m sure the politicians would take action if they could. It is completely wrong.
“HMRC need to get a grip, they need to figure out what is the purpose of paying tax in this country. if they tax regime doesn’t work they need to sort that out. Their purpose is to raise money for the public purse. It’s not to blame politicians.”

He really does seem to be complaining about what the law is, not that Google haven’t been following it.

20 thoughts on “Barney Jones is a bit odd, eh?”

  1. If you, politicians, want HMRC to levy UK corporartion tax on foreign companies, then you, politicians, change the law so that UK corporation tax is levied on foreign companies.

    It really pisses me off politicians complaining that people acting in accordance to the law wot they rote results in people acting in accordance to the law wot they rote.

  2. Since when are HMRC supposed to be “experts for the politicians”? That’s the role of the Civil Service.

  3. as this article make clear he joined google in 2002 and left in 2006

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jun/12/google-tax-whistleblower-christian-beliefs

    In 2013 he was 34, which means that he joined Google at 21 and left four years later. He worked in Sales, so he was one of the most junior sales drones, and is unlikely to have had access to the tax department or the senior management. It’s like taking a graduate counter clerk’s view of what went wrong at the Co-op Bank

  4. Could we perhaps just understand one issue and then move on from there: non-UK resident company is ate indeed chargeable to CT in the UK on the profits of their permanent establishments. How about, in an age when Richard Murphy’s repetition renders an assertion (or blatant lie) the truth, we get the true postion and go with that.

  5. This (very) young man doesn’t know what he is talking a about. However, the deal done, the transfer price, is entirely a matter for HMRC and definitely not for government; no minister should be involved in it. I do not know the details, nobody outside HMRC and Google does. I do not know whether the deal is decent or a terrible deal for the taxpayer ( does HMRC?) I do know that a lot of self -serving chancers (Murphy, McDonnell) are making hay out of it.

  6. It pisses me off that no one in the media seems capable of asking McDonnell one of the most basic of questions.

    “if McDonnell believes that we should tax the profits of overseas companies who aren’t physically here but make sales in the UK, does he accept that other countries should be able to tax UK companies making sales in their countries and has he worked out how much tax the UK would lose if they did?”

  7. “It’s like taking a graduate counter clerk’s view of what went wrong at the Co-op Bank”

    Notwithstanding Barney Jones’s probably lack of knowledge of Google’s internal tax affairs, it is entirely possible that a junior bank clerk at Co-Op could have had an inkling of its future problems, if they saw what sort of people were being lent money in their home town, and were coming in to the branch and being dealt with. Sometimes the people on the front line can have a good deal of insight into trading troubles, because they deal with the customers.

  8. “Executive” = meaningless term. It’s what you give junior people instead of some salary.

    And no, he’s not a “whistleblower”, for fuck’s sake.

    And finally, I seriously doubt, based on all my dealings with bureaucrats of the state that they’re trying to help Google out. They’re overwhelmingly Labour voters who love more tax.

  9. “He really does seem to be complaining about what the law is, not that Google haven’t been following it”

    Yes he is. It’s not odd. Some people want to see things done differently.

    What the fuck is wrong with that?

  10. Arnald you moron – the point is that the beef is with HMRC not Google, or Starbucks, or Vodafone or Boots or etc etc

    I don’t see the rent a mob egging a HMRC tax office, do you?

  11. Yes, Jdub, what part of “wanting to see things done differently” don’t you understand?

    HMRC are always criticised by campaigners as toothless, it’s the heart of the argument.

  12. Arnald,

    “HMRC are always criticised by campaigners as toothless, it’s the heart of the argument.”

    They really aren’t. It’s complete balls. If Google really owed the squillions people claimed, they would go after them.

    The bits of the state that always work are the collection bits. You can drive over a pothole for 6 months, but if a ticket machine for a car park is broken, it’ll be fixed by the following day.

  13. Arnald only has one truth to express. That he is the long lost heir to the Kingdom of Evil Fuckwittery.

    He has said and demonstrated this so many ways and on so many occasions that he has redefined the meaning of the word “boredom”.

    “Yes, Jdub, what part of “wanting to see things done differently” don’t you understand?”

    The part about the 150 million murders and mass economic ruin under the rule of socialist tyrants who “would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the breeze”.

  14. He is already in the social justice racket.

    It is only that “informer” is an entry level job.

    The arsehole being the entry in question.

  15. Arnald,
    See what you make of this, it may help.

    1) The Premier League announce that henceforth, league wins will be worth 6 points for matches played during the working week.

    2) Due to flooding, league team Neasden Athletic have to re-arrange 3 games, and deliberately arrange them for mid-week, giving them an advantage.

    3) Ron Noades, footballologist and tireless campaigner, can’t stand the new rules, and Neasden’s loophole exploitation has him up and out of his armchair.

    So, to whom should Mr Noades complain?

    a) The Premier League
    b) Neasden Athletic
    c) Any relevant Rain Gods
    d) His long-suffering wife Doreen

    Further, what are your thoughts on Neasden?

    a) Wicked, immoral, neoliberal baby-killers
    b) Errr …. sensible
    c) Immoral, neoliberal, wicked baby-killers
    d) Baby-killing, immoral, wicked neoliberals

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