Well what a turn up for the books, HMRC leaks information relating to the visit by Sheriff Officers to Rangers FC relating to a tax bill…..
Some of you may remember that HMRC had the biggest leak of information when the records of all the child benefit payments were ‘lost’ by a courier a few years ago. Now it seems that they may have another leak forming in their alleged watertight system.
Investigations reveal that this may be due to a pro-Celtic FC fan who works at the HMRC finding out that the Sheriff Officers, believed to be Walker Love, were going to visit Ibrox to serve a summons on Rangers FC. This person then contacted a friend via their Facebook account, who just happened to be a newspaper reporter in the Republic of Ireland, and this was subsequently passed to one of the red-tops in Glasgow. This resulted in a photographer and reporter being in attendance at Ibrox when the Sheriff Officers arrived and were photographed delivering the summons. It is understood that the Facebook account of the HMRC employee has now been deleted…..
Now, whilst this has been looked into the above scenario is still speculation as nobody will confirm or deny anything but it is likely to be very close to the truth. None of the press in Scotland like upsetting either of the Old Firm (Rangers and Celtic) but someone is going to have to grasp the thistle this time and start digging into it and revealing what has really happened.
If it is true than I have grave concerns about the viability of the security at HMRC and would call on the Information Commissioner to investigate fully. If there is a leak such as this then it falls under the new Section 55 penalties and I would expect HMRC to be hit by the full force of the penalties and be ‘fined’ the full £500,000.
Having said this, the Information Commissioner so far has bottled out of hitting the big players, especially the NHS Trusts, with anything like a big financial penalty. He says continually that he has a big stick and is not afraid to use it but when? He is happy to go for a County Council with £120,000 and a few other smaller fines but now is the time to take a stand, hit HMRC with a huge penalty and say to the rest of the UK, “I am REALLY not afraid to use my big stick”
I am afraid he will not do this, once again, and we will see another major player in the market getting away with a breach. What do you think? Will the Commissioner flex his muscles or not?