ICAEW urges safeguards against abuse of powers by HMRC

ICAEW urges safeguards against abuse of powers by HMRC

ICAEW president calls on parliament to insert safeguards against new HMRC powers in the finance bill

New ICAEW president David Furst is to push the government to safeguard
taxpayers from sweeping new HMRC powers.

A partner at Horwath Clark Whitehill and national head of the firm’s
professional practices group, Furst this week called on parliament to insert
safeguards against new HMRC powers in the finance bill.

The powers would let HMRC officials turn up at business premises ­ including
those of third parties such as tax advisers ­ and inspect books and records.
There would be no prior warning or right of appeal.

‘There is potential for the powers to be used by individual officers in a way
which is inappropriate and unacceptable,’ Furst said. ‘The ICAEW will be
lobbying very hard for any new powers to be subject to limits and conditions,
with safeguards spelled out in statute.’

Furst was a founding committee member of the Association of Partnership
Practitioners, an organisation with members in partnership law and practice,
including accountants, tax advisers, bankers and lawyers. He is also a member of
the APP multi-disciplinary practice subcommittee.

The ICAEW has also announced that Philip Hollins, partner at UHY Hacker
Young, is the new chairman of the council. Martin Hagen, chairman of the
accountancy bodies’ professional standards board, is deputy president. And
Gerald Russell, senior partner at Ernst & Young, takes on the role of
vice-president.

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