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Friday, 9 March 2012
MP's To Examine HMRC's Legal Status
The Treasury subcommittee is worried about HMRC's accountability and transparency. As such it wants to conduct a detailed examination into HMRC's legal status.
The FT reports that MPs are concerned about the "tension" between HMRC's need for political independence and the public’s right for it to be accountable.
The subcommittee notes that because HMRC is not led by a government minister it means that “ministers are unable to bring about changes in HMRC even where they are clearly needed.”
Let us "hope" that ministers do not use this as an excuse to politicise HMRC.
The subcommittee was also less than impressed with HMRC’s approach to the “tax gap” – the difference between the amount of tax it thinks is owed and the amount it actually receives. The subcommittee was not convinced the process of calculating, publishing and publicising the tax gap was a sensible use of HMRC’s limited resources.
All very well, but the mess that HMRC finds itself in is as a direct result of the actions by politicians of various political hues over many years.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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