Chris Leslie, a former head of investigations at HMRC, added his voice to those who know that HMRC is abusing its position wrt IR35 and the loan charge scandal.
He pointed out that as a general rule, HMRC should have exercised “reasonable discretion” when probing taxpayers caught by the charge.
The Lords found HMRC to be guilty of a “failure to pursue taxpayers proportionately to their circumstances”, so much so that it caused them “anguish”.
Leslie is quoted by ContractorUK:
“The extent and nature of the investigations should be proportionate to tax risk.Quite!
The inequality of arms and costs are well-illustrated [by the Lords in their report].
[While] there is a balance to be struck and HMRC are tasked to achieve results, with newly trained investigators with substantial regulatory powers, the matter is ‘concerning.’ I do not think, in my opinion, parliament can let this continue.”
Tax does have to be taxing.
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