Barclays is slapped down
over HMRC row about tax
Barclays clashed with HMRC
and the Chancellor over an
‘aggressive’ tax avoidance
scheme, according to letters
released by the Treasury
Earlier this year, the Treasury
took rare retrospective action
to close a loophole that would
have seen Barclays shave £500m off its tax bill by buying back its
The letters reveal that former boss Bob Diamond believed the bank
had been unfairly treated.
He claimed HMRC knew other firms were using similar schemes.
But Treasury committee chairman Andrew Tyrie MP said: ‘It has
been suggested that HMRC was aware of other companies that
had used a similar approach for debt buy-backs. HMRC tells me
this is not right.’
‘The Chancellor flatly contradicts Barclays’ letter to the committee.
If Barclays thinks the Chancellor is mistaken, it should explain
Tyrie said the Government should ‘simplify the tax system’ to
prevent vastly differing interpretations of official guidelines.