Nadhim Zahawi: the questions over his tax affairs that won’t go away | Nadhim Zahawi

Nadhim Zahawi admitted on Saturday he had agreed a settlement with HM Revenue & Customs, but said officials concluded he had made a “careless and not deliberate” error. The statement still leaves many unanswered questions.

The tax deal

  • When was Zahawi first made aware of the HMRC investigation; when did it finish; and how much has he now agreed to pay in unpaid taxes and interest?

  • Did Zahawi pay a penalty on the tax he had avoided? If so, how much?

  • Will he now publish his full correspondence with HMRC and provide full details of the settlement and tax which was previously unpaid?

  • Did Zahawi benefit from any fast-track treatment for his settlement which would not have been available to most taxpayers?

  • When Zahawi insisted last July his tax affairs were “fully paid and up to date”, was he aware that HMRC was or would be investigating?

YouGov shares

  • According to Zahawi, HMRC disagreed about the allocation of shares to Zahawi’s father in YouGov, the firm the MP had co-founded in 2000. What allocation of these shares between father and son was agreed for the tax settlement?

  • Does Zahawi now consider he had an interest in the Gibraltar firm Balshore Investments where these YouGov shares were held? If so, why was it not declared on the parliamentary register of interests?

  • Zahawi insisted in July there were no grounds for him to be investigated for avoidance and he was the victim of “dirty tricks”. Does he consider this was misleading and why did he not correct the record?

  • What was the value of the shares at the point of sale on which Zahawi has now paid tax?

  • Has Zahawi received any of the proceeds, whether in the form of loans, gifts or direct payments, from the sales of these shares? If so, when was this money received and which individual or entity was it paid from?

The prime minister

  • Did the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, ask Zahawi about his tax affairs when he appointed him party chairman last October?

  • What due diligence was conducted before the appointment?

  • Was Sunak aware of the tax investigation and settlement over the allocation of YouGov shares?

  • Was a flag raised by the Cabinet Office propriety and ethics team over Zahawi when he was appointed minister without portfolio and party chairman?


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