HMRC’s accounts have come under scrutiny by EU tax officials, who allege jiggery-pokey and unpaid duties.
Clothing imports from China have been grossly undervalued in HMRC’s books, claims the EU, demanding £2.4bn in extra tax.
HMRC say they have a problem accessing the data just now, as unfortunately their dog ate the USB memory stick and the back-up drive has been mislaid in a snowdrift. They’re trying to get copies of their bank statements but the internet is a bit unreliable round their way and mail doesn’t always get through in bad weather.
Harold builder Herbert Fork, who’s been done for tax a few times, says he offers his sympathies to HMRC.
“I know what you go through when you get turned over by the VAT man,” he empathised.
“I just hope they don’t nearly have a heart attack during the investigation and that it can get sorted within a couple of years and not drag on and on until they’ve almost lost the will to live. You’ve got to feel for them.”