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Tax Advice

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the expenditure by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non departmental public bodies on (i) tax consultants and (ii) other external tax advice in (1) 1995–96, (2) 1996–97 and (3) 1997–98; and if he will make a statement. [13251]

My Department and its agencies have recorded no expenditure on external tax advice in 1995–96.

My Department spent £17,625 on external tax advice in 1996–97 and expects to spend £16,500 in 1997–98.

The agencies of my Department spent £252,000 on external tax advice in 1996–97. The agencies have not reported any plans to pay for external tax advice in 1997–98.

The information for non departmental public bodies is not held centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the policy of his Department on the purchase of tax avoidance advice; and if he will make a statement. [13252]

It is the policy of my Department to obtain such advice as is necessary to ensure that the correct amount of tax is paid on its activities.