MP voices concerns about increased HMRC powers

Tory MP David Gauke has expressed concern about new powers given to HM
Customs & Excise by chancellor Gordon Brown to tackle tax evasion.

The former solicitor also complained about the ‘sheer level of complexity’ of
the annual finance bill implementing the Budget.

He told the debate on Treasury matters after the Queen’s Speech: ‘It is
difficult for businesses, even when advised by highly skilled advisers, to know
what their tax liabilities are.

‘There is also a concern about extra powers for Her Majesty’s Revenue &
Customs. I am thinking in particular of a recent consultation document about
additional powers. PricewaterhouseCoopers, for example, has made representations
to the Treasury to say that it recognises the advantages of harmonising and
modernising the powers of HMRC.

‘However, it says that while harmonisation and modernisation are one thing,
taking the most extreme of the powers of the two former departments to create a
set of powers that are far more extensive than either of the predecessor sets of
powers, is something quite different and which needs to be properly justified.’

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