Exposed: The Whitehall tax sleuth who designed Nadhim Zahawi fork out £5m

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The identification of the Whitehall “international tax detective” credited with making Nadhim Zahawi pay £5m – which include a £1m penalty – to HM Revenue and Customs can be revealed by The Independent.

Tom Gardiner, who was awarded the OBE in 2018 for a lifetime spent battling tax criminal offense, led a two-yr investigation into Mr Zahawi.

The inquiry, which started in 2020, is believed to have been ongoing when, as chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Zahawi was responsible for HMRC.

Mr Gardiner, HMRC assistant director, is the “intelligence lead” of its “offshore directorate”.

He has worked for HMRC due to the fact 1985 and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost professionals on globally tax criminal offense and money laundering.

The quotation for his OBE claimed he had been honoured for “services to earnings protection”.

Insiders say his forensic monetary sleuthing techniques have saved British taxpayers “tens of hundreds of thousands of pounds” above many years.

Mr Gardiner’s manager, HMRC chief executive Jim Harra is expected to be quizzed about how the organisation handles investigations into ministers’ tax affairs when he seems just before the Commons general public accounts committee on Thursday.

The problem is all the far more sensitive in the scenario of Mr Zahawi, who was staying investigated when he was chancellor, whose tasks include overseeing HMRC.

In a assertion issued on Saturday, he explained his appointment as Tory chairman in Oct was cleared by the Cupboard Place of work.

Nonetheless, Labour MPs have pointed out his assertion did not say that the Cabinet Office environment experienced cleared his appointment as chancellor in July past calendar year, when The Unbiased was initial to report the row around his tax affairs.

Mr Zahawi, who reportedly compensated practically £5m to HMRC such as a £1m penalty, claimed he designed a “careless not deliberate” mistake in his tax affairs. The dispute involves promises that he tried out to stay away from tax by preserving thousands and thousands of kilos in an offshore trust and arguing some of it belonged to his father.

An ex-colleague of Mr Gardiner mentioned he is “hugely revered, self-effacing and determined”, incorporating lightheartedly: “He is a cross amongst Martin Lewis and Sherlock Holmes.”

Tom Gardiner has been credited with preserving taxpayers tens of millions of lbs .

(Bailiwick Regulation Enforcement)

In 2018 Mr Gardiner signed a new arrangement on behalf of the authorities with Guernsey in the Channel Islands to suppress revenue laundering.

He has spearheaded a international campaign by the British isles to bring intercontinental tax cheats to recover.

He played a well known part at a Tax Compliance and Transparency conference organised by the federal government in 2018 in Singapore to focus on methods to struggle tax criminal offense with the US, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.

The host wrote at the time: “Tom Gardiner from HMRC gave an insightful presentation on the get the job done he is foremost in tackling the enablers and facilitators of tax crime.”

Mr Gardiner was praised for his operate tackling “bad actors who are accomplishing the wrong thing”.

The purpose of the convention was to “combat worldwide and transnational tax criminal offense and dollars laundering”.

It provided “enhancing existing investigation and intelligence courses … figuring out considerable targets for new investigations … increasing tactical intelligence”.

This was crucial to acquire a “deeper knowing of the solutions, weaknesses and hazards from offshore tax criminal offense and cybercrime, which current pitfalls for all tax jurisdictions”.