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HM Revenue and Customs target MPs expenses

In a surprising turnaround it has been revealed that HM Revenue and Customs have confirmed that ministers who claimed expenses for the completion of their private tax affairs are liable to pay tax on the figures involved. In total 42 ministers have claimed £25,000 for tax advice in relation to their own affairs and while it is assumed they have paid the necessary tax on this particular expense a reminder has been sent to all members of the government.

While number 10 Downing Street has backed the ministers in question, and Gordon Brown spokesperson has been vocal in his support, there are concerns that taxation issues may not have been addressed at the correct time. It will be interesting to see how the matter progresses over the next few days with many people expecting more shocks and surprises along the way. While HM Revenue and Customs would not confirm that an investigation was under way into MPs expenses in general, it did confirm the taxation position regarding expenses for advice.

This is the first time the tax authorities in the UK have spoken up in relation to expenses and the fact that many have been claimed free of taxation. Whether there has been any wrongdoing remains to be seen, although so far there has been no confirmation of any tax prosecutions or demands.

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