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CIoT president denounces HMRC powers

Anna Fairpo, president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIoT) has taken a shot at HM Revenue and Customs over its newfound powers granted in the courts.

The tax body has been given the ability to extract unpaid tax directly from debtors’ bank accounts, minus any court involvement. The move has provoked controversy, with the ICAEW labelling it “unconstitutional” earlier this year.

HMRC will have the power to withdraw tax under the condition that £5,000 remains in their accounts, which should include ISAs. Approximately 17,000 individual taxpayers per year are expected to be affected by the new rule.

Fairpo was speaking at a presidential reception from CIoT, where she said that if there is a flaw in the court, changes should be made to fix it, as opposed to allowing HMRC to work around it. She commented:

“I am concerned about the increasing focus on HMRC enforcement without third party supervision. There is, and can be, no dispute that HMRC needs to enforce tax debts. There’s no dispute that we have a societal infrastructure that needs to be paid for.”

She went on to say that ideally, HMRC wouldn’t have a need to turn to the courts, although that applies to everyone, and that everyone makes mistakes – HMRC included.

The new law puts a lot of pressure on businesses to ensure that they know exactly how much tax they have to pay, and to maintain a fund throughout the year for when the bill comes around. A trained UK accountant, from the Wirral to Worcester, is more than capable of helping a business to achieve this, preventing clients from coming to face-to-face with HMRC and the courts.

Posted by Louise
October 24, 2014
HMRC

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