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Does HMRC have too many powers, or not enough?

11 January 2022 / Mala Kapacee
Issue: 4823 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
68038
Adequate powers?

Key points

  • HMRC has a myriad of powers to review returns and check taxes have been correctly calculated and paid.
  • These powers include the ability to open and close enquiries request information and documentation inspect business premises and raise assessments for up to 20 years.
  • Unfortunately tax investigations practitioners will have seen these powers applied incorrectly or abused too often.
  • Cases that have been brought to the tribunal by HMRC include Kong’s Restaurant and BJ Trading Ltd in which HMRC arguably used its powers to interpret and assume the worst regarding the taxpayers’ affairs.

The taxes collected by HMRC – £584.5bn in 2020-21 – run the UK and as such it is essential that the right amounts are collected.

To this end HMRC has a myriad of powers to review returns and check taxes have been correctly calculated and paid....

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