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Mar 6, 2008, 06:38 AM
Authors : Taxation
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Post date : Mar 6, 2008, 06:38 AM
In January, HMRC announced it would be working with interested parties on a taxpayers’ charter.
The Revenue then published consultation documents.
The period of consultation ends today, and the CIOT this morning published a policy paper setting out what the charter ‘might look like’.
The CIOT document provides some background material to such charters and notes that the UK’s Inland Revenue was the first revenue authority in the world to publish a taxpayers’ charter.
What it doesn’t say was whether the Inland Revenue was the first body to then abolish its taxpayers’ charter (but this isn’t the time for sour grapes; let’s look to the future).
The CIOT’s suggested charter can be found between pages 20 and 40 of its document.
It comprises 14 taxpayers’ rights (not to be subject to retrospective taxation might be of interest to many taxpayers) and 11 obligations (‘keep your nose clean and cough up on time’, in the vernacular).
The document suggests that a charter could be embodied in law, or that breaches of the charter could be taken into account in tribunal or court hearings: a little like some aspects of the Highway Code, we would suggest.
The final sections of the CIOT’s document look at charters in other jurisdictions, some examples of codes in practice and how these relate to other legislation such as human rights, data protection, surveillance, etc.
Let’s hope that this is the start of something good, and that, if future circumstances require, it will be amended rather than simply sidelined.

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