Lord Storey – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the HM Treasury

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Storey on 2016-04-27.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they ascertain the number of local staff at a foreign embassy who are liable to pay tax.

Lord O’Neill of Gatley

Letters are issued annually on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Diplomatic Missions in the UK (Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates) requesting staff lists providing details of all locally engaged staff and private servants.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has a specialist team (the Embassy team) in place to deal with enquiries from locally engaged staff employed at Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations in the UK as detailed in ‘The London Diplomatic List’. In December 2015 HMRC wrote to all these bodies to ensure they held full and up-to-date contact information for the team.

Locally engaged employees and private servants are expected to contact the Embassy team to notify their employment as soon as they are engaged.

The Embassy team determines the employee’s liability to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions. The team also carries out risk assessment activity and where it identifies individuals who have not notified their employment to HMRC, it takes action to ensure they pay the tax that is due.