HMRC UK tax deal with Goldman Sachs deemed lawful by High Court

17 May 2013

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has won its case in the High Court over accusations it illegally allowed investment bank Goldman Sachs to get away with not paying its entire UK tax bill.

Campaign group UK Uncut Legal Action claimed the taxpayer had been cheated out of around £20 million ($30.5 million) and that HMRC had let Goldman Sachs off the hook.

The judge ruled the deal was "not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue", but said nothing unlawful had occurred.

HMRC - which welcomed the judgement - said the maximum amount the UK taxpayer had lost out on was £8 million after it admitted to making a mistake in the handling of the deal in 2010. It said it has since changed its practices.

Jim Harra, HMRC's director general for business tax, said the court's decision proves the deal "was both proper and lawful".

HMRC claims in the last seven years it has recovered £34 billion in additional revenues from large businesses.

By Tony Aynsley

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