Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Unions say Dundee newsagent tax-dodging case shows importance of local knowledge

Mohammed Arshid
Mohammed Arshid

Union officials say the high-profile case of £1 million tax-dodging Dundee newsagents shows what may be overlooked when “hundreds of years of experience” goes with the loss of local tax jobs.

130 employees are expected to be affected by the closure of HMRC’s Caledonian House at Greenmarket, scheduled to take place before 2017-18.

It is one of 17 offices to close and be replaced by two new regional centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh by 2019-20 under the UK Government proposals.

Staff will likely have to choose between moving their workplace to the new base in Edinburgh or taking a redundancy package.

However, union officials have warned cases could fall through the cracks when the move goes ahead.

They say the recent case of Mohammed Arshid, 61, and Maqsoodan Arshid, highlights the need for local expertise.

The pair, who were directors of Nethergate Newsagents, had been under-declaring and concealing the business’ liabilities for 17 years.

Stuart Jeffrey, PCS branch secretary of the Dundee HMRC branch, said: “My understanding is that referral to the fraud investigation service came from local knowledge. There is no way of knowing whether or not it would have happened following the removal of local knowledge, but one could suggest that local knowledge won’t be here (when the branch closes).

“Will someone in Glasgow or Edinburgh pick up on that?

“It’s not just local knowledge but vast amounts of experience in Dundee. We have hundreds of years of experience in Dundee. They are replacing these hundreds of years of experience with new recruits to go ahead with these plans.”

A protest outside Caledonian House.
A protest outside Caledonian House.

Mr Arshid was banned from acting as a director of a company for 11 years, while his wife can’t take a director’s post for two years.

An HMRC spokesman said: “We don’t comment on specific cases for reasons of taxpayer confidentiality.

“We are cutting down on tax avoidance and evasion with modern technology, use of data and collaboration – HMRC’s new regional centre will help us to achieve this, not hinder it. HMRC does not need to physically be in a location to see and stop wrongdoing in the tax system.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]