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This week's opinion

17 April 2018
Issue: 4643 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Public service ethic live and kicking

Taxation often includes articles that are critical of HMRC’s work. We would never allow that to turn into criticism of individuals and it is rare to be able to single out specific officers for praise. But a recent First-tier Tribunal case (TC6417) gives me the opportunity to do that. The scene is set by the judge’s opening remarks: ‘Mr Graves [the appellant] is in his 80s. He harbours an ineradicable sense of injustice about his treatment at the hands of the Inland Revenue and then HMRC of the Department for Work and Pensions and its predecessors Manchester City Council and the courts and tribunals with which he has been involved. He is convinced that far from owing HMRC more than £30 000 … he is owed huge amounts by way of refund of tax on account of expenses he has incurred and other things.’

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