Menu Close

ICAEW warning over HMRC powers

/ 30 July 2014

In a detailed 13-page response to a consultation on the Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD) powers, the ICAEW has warned that new powers allowing HMRC to seize money directly from people’s bank accounts were “unconstitutional and wrong in principle”, a position supported by the ACCA. The taxman would inevitably make errors with the taxpayer suffering possible consequences from a knock-on effect on their business and personal life, and damage to their credit-rating. The ICAEW also said public confidence in the tax system would be eroded were the DRD to be used inappropriately. “HMRC should be asked to provide much better evidence as to why the current powers are not adequate”, it said. A HMRC spokesman said: “It’s hard to see why a tiny minority of people who can pay the tax they owe, but refuse to, should enjoy an advantage over the vast majority of people who respect the rules.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph

“It’s hard to see why a tiny minority of people who can pay the tax they owe, but refuse to, should enjoy an advantage over the vast majority of people who respect the rules”? Maybe it is, but it’s an awful lot harder to see why a government body should be given special powers not available to any other class of creditor to side-step the requirement to go to court and make your case before being given the right to dip their hand into your pocket: especially one which has a track record of making mistakes whether on getting coding notices wrong or losing confidential data.