TaxAdministrationTax avoidance disclosure under Lords scrutiny

Tax avoidance disclosure under Lords scrutiny

The House of Lords has decided to push the boundaries of constitutional responsibility by convening a special committee to look at Finance Bill measures to require tax advisers to disclose tax avoidance they propose to market.

Link: New tax rate card for 2004/2005

Examination of the Finance Bill is usually the exclusive preserve of the House Commons but Lord Peston, who chairs the Lords economic affairs committee, has decided the Upper House should look at the provision introduced by the chancellor in the Budget.

The committee will include three accountants – Lord John Wakeham, Lord Roger Freeman, and Lord Joel Barnett as well as the former chairman of the Public Accounts committee Lord Robert Sheldon.

Lord Peston said it ‘will be looking very carefully at the government’s proposals to deal with Tax Avoidance (as distinct from Tax Evasion) and at the implications which these and other measures will have for businesses and for the bodies which advise them on the conduct of their financial affairs.’

He added: ‘We will also be looking, as part of this inquiry, at how the projected merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise will impact on the implementation of these and other measures in the Finance Bill.’

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