Monday, June 23, 2008

Watch out if you are investigated!

The ordinary taxpayers, who can't afford high cost legal eagles to protect them from overzealous tax investigations, are going to face a tough time in the future with HMRC.That is the view of Nichola Ross Martin, Accounting Web's UK Tax Editor, who spoke at recent tax conference at the ICAEW in London about new HMRC powers.

She is quoted as saying:"Unrepresented taxpayers will not stand a chance under HMRC's new penalty regime.Many accountants are in for a bit of a shock too. It was an unhappy coincidence that shadow home secretary, David Davies happened to chose the same day to resign his parliamentary seat on account of 'the insidious erosion of civil liberties in the UK'.

" The new tax penalty system allows abatements/reductions from a statutory maximum penalty, by decreasing penalty charges according to taxpayer behaviours. However, HMRC will be required/allowed to pass subjective judgement on the affairs of taxpayers.This subjective judgement will be fraught with dangers.The taxpayers themselves will be expected to know if they need professional help or not in their tax affairs, they will then also be responsible for the selection a suitably qualified accountant. HMRC's Compliance Handbook is not easy reading, even for those who are tax specialists, and is designed to obfuscate rather than help.

A sure sign, if ever one were needed, that HMRC is loading the dice in its favour.

Frank Haskew of the ICAEW concluded that HMRC "is consulting but not actually listening" and that "there are diametric views as to what is actually a safeguard" within HMRC.

The dice are well truly now loaded against the ordinary taxpayer.Just you watch Brown and his cronies running HMRC bleed us dry, as they desperately scrabble in the mud for extra tax revenues to prop up Brown's expensive failed economic model.

I will just reiterate all taxpayers should have some sort of tax investigation insurance policy in place. Contact me for details if you would like to join our scheme.

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