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Australia

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff of (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs have visited Australia in an official capacity since 1 January 2008; and what the purpose of each such visit was. (205876)

[holding answer 22 May 2008]: There have been two visits to Australia by HM Treasury and HMRC staff since 1 January 2008 as follows.

Two Treasury officials visited Australia primarily to discuss matters relating to tax credits. There have been two HM Revenue and Customs staff making visits to Australia, on separate occasions, the first accompanying the Treasury officials mentioned above; the second to represent HMRC at two international groups, that co-ordinated the dates of meeting to minimise cost, and who meet twice a year split between the UK and Australia. The first group met with representatives from UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Netherlands to discuss and review progress on the implementation of work commissioned by the OECD Taxpayer Service Group. The second group “The International Standard Business Reporting Forum” met to resolve a number of international reporting standards to improve financial reporting to Governments. In addition it acts as a mutual assistance group of practitioners from the public and private sector.