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Revenue and Customs: Varney Report

Volume 703: debated on Thursday 10 July 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether unacceptable tax planning and behaviours, as described in HM Revenue and Customs's Varney report, are consistent with high standards of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in large British businesses. [HL4520]

One of the outcomes of the Varney report was that both business and HMRC wanted to see an efficient risk-based approach to dealing with tax matters. HMRC has issued detailed guidance on its approach to tax compliance risk management for the largest businesses. The risk framework guidance makes it clear that corporate governance, including transparency in its dealings with HMRC, is a behavioural risk which will be taken into account in classifying a business as low risk or not. HMRC has supported nearly 40 per cent of large businesses to become low risk while deploying specialist resource to high-risk businesses.