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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 Social Security what is the policy of her Department on the purchase of tax avoidance advice; and if she will make a statement.[13270]

The Department of Social Security follows the guidance and advice issued to Government departments by HM Treasury. It does not purchase any advice on tax avoidance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate she has made of the expenditure by (a) her 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 she will make a statement. [13269]

Approximately £10,000 has been spent in 1997–98 by the War Pensions Agency. Consultants were employed to review the procedures used by the Agency to account for VAT. This enabled under-deducted VAT to be identified and resulted in revised procedures being introduced. This will ensure that the Agency correctly reclaims those amounts that are due in future accounting periods within the statutory entitlements.