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21st Jan 2022
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Proposal to give HMRC access to bank accounts

by The Editor at 09:05 10/07/07 (News)
A proposal to give HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) access to bank accounts to collect unpaid taxes has been greeted with concern by one of the major professional tax bodies.
Following on from HMRC consultation document 'Payment, Repayment and Debt', the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has flagged its concern in an open letter that this power could be misdirected. It said: "This is the beginning of the consultation process and HMRC have set out options to be considered. It is understandable that they are examining their current powers and that, where liability is very clearly established, options such as direct access to bank accounts are considered.

"There are serious issues that need to be addressed. For example, if someone has a joint bank account, what redress does the 'innocent party' in the relationship have?

"Furthermore, what happens where HMRC and the taxpayer do not agree whether anything is owing and the issue is being handled properly through existing channels? These are the sorts of issues that we will seek to explore in consultation.

"If HMRC are to gain or extend their powers, the CIOT will demand that safeguards exist for the taxpayer. We have long argued for a Taxpayers' Charter setting out rights and responsibilities."

The CIOT will submit its response to this document in due course.

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Susie Hughes
The Editor Hardhatter 2007

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