UK government tax adviser quits after giving avoidance tips

LONDON Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:21am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - A tax adviser to the British government has been forced to resign after he was recorded giving tips at a conference on how to pay less tax and "keep money out of the Chancellor's grubby mitts", a Treasury minister said.

The BBC Panorama investigative program filmed David Heaton - before he joined the government as an adviser on how to clamp down on aggressive tax avoidance - telling delegates at a conference how they could exploit tax loopholes.

"Mr Heaton's statements are directly at odds with the government's approach to tackling tax avoidance," Treasury minister David Gauke said in a statement. "Therefore, it is right that Mr Heaton resigned from his position."

How much tax is paid by corporations and wealthy individuals has become a hot issue in Britain in recent years after it emerged that several well-known companies did not pay corporation tax.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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Comments (2)
BlancaPez wrote:
Whats’ wrong with the government telling people how they can avoid, under the law, paying more tax that they would owe? Does the government believe that being greedy and deceptive is appropriate behavior?
It exemplifies why “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” is such a joke.

If the government believes people shouldn’t use the loopholes, then they should close them, not try to keep them a secret.

Sep 15, 2013 4:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
In programming, security firms employ people who could be, or are hackers ,because they know the system in and out.
In this case, the man must know the field really well in order to know the legal loopholes.It makes sense why he was employed in the first place.
It’s understandable that they want someone who is pro-team,pro-mission, but also where is the line drawn for free speech?

Sep 16, 2013 11:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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