Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Employing A Former Gamekeeper As Poacher...?

A Labour MP's husband has been paid more than £5,000 in public funds to provide tax advice to four ministers, according to the Daily Telegraph.
But this was the bit that caught my eye:
Foreign Office Minister Mrs Merron, local government minister Mr Healey, schools minister Mr Knight (Dorset South), and Sheffield Hillsborough MP Angela Smith have issued a statement.

It stated: "Dennis Bates worked for 12 years for the Inland Revenue, specialising in the tax affairs of small businesses and is eminently qualified to provide advice."

What are the rules on ex-IR staff setting themselves up as tax advisors, I wonder?


Tom Paine said...

Why would there need to be rules? His expertise would be genuine. There should probably be more interchange between the professions advising taxpayers and those working for the revenue, rather than less. And I have to dispute your title. Surely you meant the reverse? It is the taxman that poaches, as he neither owns nor cares for the game he takes.

Anonymous said...

Quite a few IR staff set themselves up as tax advisors. In the 1980s I went to an interview for a job. This was a multi-stage process, the first of which involved a lecture to explain the career path and prospects. During this lecture it was explicitly stated that the best people leave for jobs giving tax advice.

Mark Wadsworth said...

As Anon explains, it is quite common for tax inspectors to go and work for private companies. The reverse is far less common.

JuliaM said...

I'd be surpirsed indeed if the IR didn't take some view of their ex-employees being restricted as to what they chose to do with the 'inside knowledge' they gained.

They are, I suppose, subject to the Official Secrets Act, like other civil servants?

It is the taxman that poaches, as he neither owns nor cares for the game he takes.

Well, he's require to conserve it for his masters, and cull competing predators, isn't he? ;)

Steve_Roberts said...

"Restraint of trade"...The tax legislation and the decided cases are not official secrets, you cannot prevent people from commercialising their know-how.