I see that there is the possibility that banks may be "named and shamed" by HMRC if they provide assistance for tax avoidance schemes.
The proposal is made in a consultation document published by HMRC aimed at strengthening the code of practice on taxation for banks.
The closing date for comments is 16 August 2013.
Under HMRC's proposals, banks will have no statutory right of appeal to prevent HMRC naming them in the public domain.
Pinsent Masons partner Ray McCann is quoted in Accountancy Age:
"HMRC wants to revise the code of practice so that they can in effect name and shame banks if they feel that bank has stepped out of line with HMRC's view of what is legitimate tax planning.I wonder if "naming" a bank would really "shame" them; or would it simply advertise their tax schemes to a wider audience?
This is not the code that banks signed up to - it is definite tightening of the screw.
This gives HMRC the power to impose what will in effect be a sanction i.e. to name and shame banks in circumstances where the bank may not be in breach of any statutory requirement. Failing to allow an independent review process is a worrying precedent especially in the light of the commercial harm such action could involve. "
Tax does have to be taxing.
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