Labour demands answers from HMRC over Zahawi tax dispute claims

It comes amid amid allegations Nadhim Zahawi paid millions to settle a dispute over his tax.

19 January 2023

Labour has written to HMRC over Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs, arguing that the “public requires answers” amid allegations he paid millions to settle a dispute over his tax.

The Prime Minister has so far defended the Conservative Party chairman, telling MPs earlier this week that he had addressed the matter in full after claims he stumped up a seven-figure sum to settle a dispute with HMRC.

Questions have swirled around Mr Zahawi since The Sun on Sunday revealed the tax dispute.

Nadhim Zahawi arrives in Downing Street, London
Nadhim Zahawi is accused of avoiding tax by using an offshore company (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He allegedly avoided tax by using an offshore company registered in Gibraltar to hold shares in the polling company he co-founded, YouGov.

Labour has already suggested that an inquiry might be required to look into the matter and the party has now submitted a series of questions to HMRC seeking clarity over the allegations.

In the letter, first reported by The Telegraph, deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “I understand that HMRC’s position is that you do not comment on the tax affairs of individuals.

“However, given the public interest in this case as well as the serious questions raised about a potential conflict of interest at the heart of government, the public require answers.

Labour Party Conference 2022
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said there were ‘serious and urgent questions that must be answered’ (Peter Byrne/PA)

“In particular, there appears to be an element of special treatment directed towards Nadhim Zahawi by HMRC,” she claimed.

A spokesman for Mr Zahawi has said his taxes are “properly declared” and he “has never had to instruct any lawyers to deal with HMRC on his behalf”.

“As he has previously stated, Mr Zahawi’s taxes are properly declared and paid in the UK,” the spokesman said.

The Prime Minister this week said Mr Zahawi “has already addressed this matter in full and there’s nothing more that I can add”.

But Ms Rayner said: “However much the Prime Minister claims the man he appointed Conservative Party Chair has already addressed this matter in full, there are serious and urgent questions that must be answered.”

A spokesperson for HMRC said that it could not comment on identifiable taxpayers.

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