Late Payers ? Law Firm McGrigors specialising in tax law & ‘late payment’ recently established new offices in Qatar, opened by First Minister Alex Salmond. MCGRIGORS, a Scottish Law Firm who recently won a little advertised share of £20 MILLION POUNDS worth of taxpayer funded Scottish Government contracts for DEBT RECOVERY & PROPERTY and who recently opened an office in the Gulf State of Qatar which was ‘officially opened’ by First Minister Alex Salmond on one of his ‘trips’ to ‘promote’ Scottish business, has claimed the UK’s Tax authorities, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) use of ‘distraint’ against businesses who dodge or fail to pay their taxes on time may be “over-zealous”.
Stuart McNeill, partner in the litigation and dispute resolution team at McGrigors, which is described by business insiders as a “specialist late-payment and tax law firm”said in a Press Release, attacking the use of seizure powers : “HMRC is under huge pressure to collect unpaid tax, but at the same time it is facing cuts in its staffing levels. It is almost inevitable that this is resulting in a more aggressive approach and short cuts, but as well as having drastic implications for late-paying businesses and their other creditors, it may also actually be counter-productive.”
Mr McNeill went on: “By barging in and selling the assets of a late paying company without making a proper commercial assessment of the firm’s medium term viability, HMRC risks sacrificing full payment in a few months’ time for far less cash up front.”
However, in these testing financial times for Scotland & the UK, where some now believe and campaign for the rich & their companies to pay their own fare share of taxes rather than indulge in tax dodging exercises & late payments, a spokesperson for HMRC countered : “We remain committed to doing everything we can to support viable businesses through short-term cash flow difficulties. However, there is little HMRC can do for a business whose viability is dependent on not paying the UK taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers.”
While McGrigors are eager to advertise their tax specialist skills, their share of the £20 million Scottish Government contracts funded by taxpayers, the majority of whom cannot afford their services, has seen little publicity, although an investigation by independent law journalist Peter Cherbi revealed the law firm was among a host of others who were involved in hospitality offered & quickly taken up by Scottish Government officials. The report on this investigation was published on the Scots Law blog Diary of Injustice, HERE
Perhaps HMRC should now be taking a look at law firms, their partners & activities, including particularly some of those members of the Scottish legal profession and even some members of the judiciary who deal in or frequently fly off to offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. (We know who you are even though you think no one is watching you … – Ed)