So here's the scoop:
A "whistleblower" says that Barclehs is planning to "dodge taxes." Maybe it is the reporting style in the International Herald Tribune, or the fact that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs representative doesn't know the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance (one might explain this away by pointing out that the distinction and usage of the two terms is less clear in the United Kingdom) or, perhaps, we have actually gotten to the point where an allegation of tax planning is enough to fire up the investigative machine.
"We have received papers relating to allegations of tax avoidance in the banking industry which we are studying carefully," HM Revenue & Customs said.
The Guardian newspaper reported on the weekend that the documents reveal the existence of a scheme codenamed Project Knight, which appeared to be an attempt to obtain tax relief in different countries.
The newspaper said the 2007 plan was created by a team within Barclays Capital, a subsidiary of the bank, to legally avoid tax.
Barclays said that the project was voluntarily and fully disclosed to the tax office.
Lesson #1: In this environment, do not give your legal tax avoidance plans secret sounding codenames like "Project Knight."
Barclays investigated for alleged tax dodging [The International Herald Tribune]