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This week's opinion

17 October 2018 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4668 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Unprofessional behaviour can never be excused

The news that HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson received death threats after giving evidence to the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee about the cost of Brexit is shocking. No public official should have to enhance their personal security arrangements or change their route to work because they were doing their job of giving impartial evidence to parliament. I fear this might just be the visible tip of a nasty iceberg. There are regularly reports of abuse of HMRC staff – verbal and physical – even from tax agents. We will all condemn such behaviour. Emotions can run high in disputes with HMRC involving large amounts of money or even the possibility of imprisonment but that never excuses unprofessional behaviour by anybody – HMRC officer or adviser.

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