HMRC likes to claim that it is very keen to "consult" with the hapless taxpayer and finance professional over new proposals. Unfortunately, the reality and practicality of interaction in this "consultation" process leaves something to be desired.
Links to two new consultation documents have not appeared in HMRC's "What's New" page in recent weeks. One of the consultations does not even appear on HMRC's "consultation" page, only making a guest appearance on the Treasury website.
The consultation entitled "Benefits in kind and expense payments in the payroll - a fresh approach" was published in December by HMRC, together with an impact assessment of "Including Benefits in Kind and Expense payments in the payroll."
HMRC's "What's New" showed details of the impact assessment, but no details of or links to the actual consultation.
HMRC's Stamp Taxes:Technical Newsletter - issue 6, appeared on the website on 16 January. It claimed that there has been a consultation document "Stamp duty land tax: ensuring fairness for all" in circulation for the last month.
HMRC claimed that:
"On 17 December 2007 the Government published a consultation document seeking views on its proposals. More details about this consultation can be found on the HM Treasury website".
This was not up on the HMRC site in December/early January, yet the closing date for consultation is 8th February.
Why is that then?
Are HMRC trying to cut down on the amount of interaction that they have with the taxpayer and finance professionals?
The government claims in its "consultations code" that consultation should last for a minimum of 12 weeks, yet HMRC does not follow that guidance.
-What are they afraid of?
-What are they trying to hide?
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