The House of Lords is unimpressed with plans to give HMRC more powers would allow it to force financial institutions to provide information about people’s assets without court approval.
The Lords are of the view that the plans are “flawed” and part of a trend of removing taxpayer protections.
In a report released on Saturday, the Lords economics affairs committee strongly criticised a proposal contained in the draft finance bill, which would become law if approved by parliament next year.
The measure would require banks, investment advisers, fund managers, credit unions, insurance companies and credit card issuers to divulge information about their customers if served with a “financial institution notice” by HMRC.
The information would be used by the authority for checking an individual’s assets for tax purposes or the collection of tax debts. Currently, HMRC can only ask a third party to provide information about an individual’s financial affairs if the person agrees or the tax tribunal approves the request.
As per the FT:
“[The committee] is very concerned about the removal of taxpayer safeguards for information requests, particularly the need to request permission from the tax tribunal.
These proposals are flawed and not supported by evidence.”
Tax does have to be taxing.
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