Sounds like a good person to have really

The City watchdog’s new most senior lawyer was involved in a celebrity tax avoidance scheme that cost the taxpayer £52m, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

David Anthony Scott, appointed last week as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s interim general counsel, is named in Companies House filings among hundreds of people who backed a 2011 tax incentive scheme involving empty data centres in Tyneside.


HM Revenue & Customs officials began clawing back the £52m “tax profit” in 2016, but a High Court ruling in 2019 then ruled in favour of the investors. The scheme was legal and there was no suggestion of wrongdoing by anyone who invested in the centres, which were intended to foster economic growth in the area by offering investors a generous tax allowance.

Someone who obeys the law sounds like a useful fort of person to have in that job, no?

10 thoughts on “Sounds like a good person to have really”

  1. Someone who both obeys it and seems to understand its limits better than HMRC. And than the Telegraph, but that’s not saying much…

  2. It is tax avoidance. Which is legal. And often specifically designed to be so.

    It was not tax evasion.

  3. I can’t remember which High Court judge explained the difference thus – “Tax evasion is a criminal offence and rightly prosecuted as such. Tax avoidance is just a sport for Gentlemen.”

  4. Since we’re doing grammar on two other threads, Is that the Middle-English “f” you’ve used in “fort of person”, Tim?

  5. ‘… cost the taxpayer £52m, ‘

    Cost? So all property belongs to the Collective? That seems nowadays to be the popular notion. Any money you get, the State owns it and gets first dibs.

    The cost to the taxpayer is what the parasites in charge squander out of their money which they plunder.

    What you do not own cannot be a cost just because you don’t get it.

  6. For some definitions it would have been tax avoidance when it was not clear if the scheme was legal or not. But it’s been settled at court. It’s now tax compliance.

  7. Dickheads like Spud have muddied the waters. It would be much simpler if we had tax evasion – illegal – and everything else was tax compliance.

    The other day, I travelled down a road at 29 mph. The speed limit was 30 mph.

    These days that would be classed as speeding fine avoidance.

  8. subhead: Pecuniary Proficiency Puzzles HMRS. Serious Slapdown Solicits Sour Grapes.

    ok.. I’ll get me coat…

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