The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed HMRC’s announcement today of new governance arrangements for significant tax settlements.
The HMRC announcement refers to the creation of a new Assurance Commissioner role, more large settlements being reviewed and an enhanced role for HMRC’s Audit and Risk Committee
CIOT President, Anthony Thomas, commented:
“This is all very welcome news.
“For the tax system to operate effectively, there must be mutual trust between taxpayers, the tax profession and HMRC. That trust has been severely dented in recent times. A major factor has been the perception that HMRC treats big business more favourably than small firms and ordinary taxpayers.
“The CIOT has long said that HMRC’s governance needs to improve. Our argument is that
HMRC would benefit from the appointment of more board-level executive and non-executive members with deep operational tax experience.
“These moves will make a real difference to the transparency around settling major disputes – and increasing transparency will increase trust. Hopefully this will be followed by improvements to HMRC’s communications, which would also contribute markedly to improving understanding and hence trust.”
Notes to Editors
- Anthony Thomas called for fundamental reform of HMRC’s governance in an article in Tax Journal, published 13 January 2012: http://www.taxjournal.com/tj/articles/working-hmrc-2012-38641
- The new arrangements announced by the Government today include:
- The appointment of a new assurance Commissioner responsible for overseeing all large settlements and protecting the interests of taxpayers at large;
- New rules which ensure that all cases above £100 million will now be referred, with recommendations from a panel of senior tax professionals, to three tax expert Commissioners;
- A systematic review programme, overseen by the new assurance Commissioner, of the processes used in settled cases covering all HMRC’s tax settlement work.
27 February 2012