Committee calls for review of UK tax authority’s powers

A House of Lords report has condemned powers given to HM Revenue & Custom (HMRC) to combat tax avoidance, calling them ‘unfair’.

A report published by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee says that HMRC’s approach to cracking down on tax avoidance is disproportionate and overly aggressive, adding that the tax authority is “not sufficiently accountable” for its treatment of taxpayers and should “have its powers reduced to be more fair”.

Lord Forsyth, the committee’s chair, says that, whilst HMRC is right to tackle tax evasion and aggressive avoidance, “a careful balance must be struck between clamping down and treating taxpayers fairly.”

He adds: “Our evidence has convinced us that the balance has tipped too far in favour of HMRC and against the fundamental protections every taxpayer should expect.”

The committee says the creation of an independent body to oversee arrangements for HMRC should be considered.

Beavis Morgan – Tax specialists to SMEs and growing businesses

Whether you are in business as an individual or as a corporate, you will want to ensure that you pay no more tax than you are legally bound to do. Our experts at Beavis Morgan can ensure your tax affairs are as efficient as possible to fit your circumstances, and we can look ahead to retirement and inheritance tax planning.

In addition, if you are concerned about a tax enquiry into your affairs, worried that you may have possibly under declared or, worse still, you are already under enquiry, our tax specialists, some of whom are former HMRC Inspector of Taxes, are well versed in dealing with all types of tax issues.

We are also readily available to oversee HMRC disputes on your behalf, as well as to represent clients in appeal proceedings before the Tax Tribunal. In some situations, we can also offer professional fee protection insurance, so the costs are covered in whole or in part.

For more information and to discuss your tax affairs in further detail, contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.