HMRC have published a factsheet on the Google affair to ‘dispel myths’.  See  Google factsheet . Its a rather angry response that probably should have been published using just capital letters.

It stresses that HMRC can’t release details of taxpayer affairs and are not under direct ministerial control. The Google settlement was made in accordance with Corporation Tax law as it stands now and their critics are wrong.  Its the closest I have ever seen to an official two fingered answer.

I have no idea whether the Google deal was optimal, I suspect HMRC got the best deal they could with the resources they have. Resources which parties of all political persuasions have depleted in the last 10 years. But what I really don’t understand is why the settlement was ever promoted to the media. There would always be critics regardless of what was agreed – especially since HMRC could not release the technical details that would allow people in the profession to come to their defence.