DECC in tax row

Dozens of staff members at the Department of Energy and Climate Change are avoiding paying the full rate of income tax by using a loophole in their employment contracts, according to ClickGreen.

Employment data provided following a Freedom of Information request made by the website apparently revealed that 69 workers from admin officers to deputy directors were paid through external companies thereby avoiding deductions for tax or National Insurance.

Information about the employment status of directors at DECC was withheld.

The Treasury is currently reviewing the remuneration arrangements for civil servants after it was discovered one Whitehall mandarin pocketed £182,000 through a company and avoided salary deductions.

Emma Boon of the Taxpayers’ Alliance criticised the situation and said Treasury chiefs needed to act swiftly to close the loophole.

She told ClickGreen: “Taxpayers will be angry to hear that yet more Whitehall staff aren’t paying their fair share in taxes.

“The Treasury plans to issue guidance on this matter, to try to ensure all employees are paying their taxes, but this doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. HMRC and the Treasury will only ever be chasing their tails unless they look at more radical tax reforms.

“Simpler and lower taxes will cut the number of loopholes and reduce the incentive for well-paid Whitehall staff to try to avoid paying their taxes.”

Information provided to ClickGreen confirmed that 10 deputy directors are currently being paid through external companies. Six administrative officers, 16 executive officers, 10 higher executive officers and five senior executive officers were also counted as “off-payroll”.