HMRC Powers and Safeguards Evaluation – urgent call for evidence

By Technical Team on 03 Feb 2020

HMRC are seeking evidence on the implementation of new powers introduced since 2012.

CIOT and ATT are members of HMRC’s Powers and Customer Safeguards Implementation Evaluation Forum which has been set up to provide expert input to HMRC on this evaluation. The forum’s current focus is to establish whether HMRC’s use of the new powers when engaging with your client(s) was carried out in accordance with the principles established for the previous review which was conducted back in 2012.

If you have experience of HMRC’s use of the powers, it would be really helpful if you could share that in the form of one or more anonymised case study(ies) using HMRC’s questionnaire.

It is not necessary to answer every question on the questionnaire, but the more detail you provide the better.  HMRC have suggested that a separate questionnaire be completed for each power you wish to comment on.  However, if your case study covers more than one power, you can still use the one questionnaire but please indicate which powers you are commenting on in your answer to Question 1.

The introduction to HMRC’s questionnaire explains the terms of reference for the evaluation and their guidance indicates the ideal level of detail to be provided. Annex A to the questionnaire lists the powers and safeguards principles which underpinned the 2005-2012 powers review. 

The forum’s report is due to be with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury by the end of May 2020. That requires the forum to be very selective in the powers which it considers in detail.  It has provisionally identified the following powers as the first priority in its evaluation:

  • Requirement to correct past offshore tax non-compliance
  • Accelerated payments and Follower Notices
  • Cross-border information exchange
  • General Anti-Abuse Rule
  • Requirement for large businesses to publish their tax strategies
  • Diverted Profits Tax Charging Notice
  • Corporate Criminal Offences
  • Banking Code of Conduct.

However, that prioritisation could change if the evidence received suggests that other post-2012 powers merit early consideration. The forum also recognises that there may well be interaction between pre- and post-2012 powers.

HMRC have provided a long list of powers in scope which you may wish to view.  You are very welcome to provide evidence on any of these if you can.

Alternative ways to respond:

  • You are welcome to complete the questionnaire and return it using the subject heading Evidence for Powers and Safeguards Evaluation to technical [at] ciot.org.uk. The deadline for this is Wednesday 26 February but early replies will be very helpful.
  • Alternatively, if you think that it would be helpful or simpler to discuss your experience of one or more of the powers with a member of the technical team, please email technical [at] ciot.org.uk by Friday 14 February using the above subject heading and providing your name and contact telephone number so that a team member can call you.

Please note that CIOT and ICAEW have contacted Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PWC, BDO, Smith and Williamson, GT and RSM, and also the CBI Tax Committee, directly to ask for their help in collating responses from within their firms / organisations, so if you work for one of these firms or an organisation represented on the CBI Tax Committee and are asked by them to submit evidence internally, we would prefer that you do that rather than submit your evidence directly to us, to avoid duplication. 

Posted in: Technical News