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HMRC powers - an overview

Following the merger of the Revenue and Customs a review of all existing powers needed to be undertaken; the merged Department had different rules for direct and indirect taxes and some of the powers were out of date.

The problem is we are not entirely happy with the results. The principle of matching a power with an appropriate safeguard is not being consistently followed. Some of the powers in the Finance Bill 2008 are likely to give rise to problems for a lot of people if they become law as they stand. New powers are being introduced without any right of appeal included in the law. Safeguards have no statutory force and can be changed without any independent scrutiny. This cannot be right. As an example, HMRC have the power to see statutory records but there is no right of appeal if you believe the request is unreasonable or irrelevant.

This is just a brief indication of the position. I think you will agree we are right to be wary.



Date: 28th July, 2008
Author: Cathy Corns


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