UK government tax adviser quits after giving avoidance tips

LONDON | Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:21am EDT

(Reuters) – A tax adviser to the British government has been forced to resign after he was recorded giving tips at a conference on how to pay less tax and “keep money out of the Chancellor’s grubby mitts”, a Treasury minister said.

The BBC Panorama investigative program filmed David Heaton – before he joined the government as an adviser on how to clamp down on aggressive tax avoidance – telling delegates at a conference how they could exploit tax loopholes.

“Mr Heaton’s statements are directly at odds with the government’s approach to tackling tax avoidance,” Treasury minister David Gauke said in a statement. “Therefore, it is right that Mr Heaton resigned from his position.”

How much tax is paid by corporations and wealthy individuals has become a hot issue in Britain in recent years after it emerged that several well-known companies did not pay corporation tax.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)