TaxCorporate TaxCIoT: ‘suspend interventions trials’

CIoT: 'suspend interventions trials'

Tax institute calls for suspension of HMRC letters to taxpayers questioning their affairs, saying they are 'patronising at best, and sometimes insulting'

The Chartered Institute of Taxation has called for the government pilot on
‘interventions’ to be suspended.

HM Revenue & Customs this month began sending out letters to 14,000
taxpayers questioning aspects of their tax affairs.

The move has caused considerable disquiet amongst advisers, who feel the
processes, which are being trialled ahead of the conclusion of the HMRC powers
consultation, are outside the statutory process and should not have gone ahead
without consultation.

The
CIoT has delivered a report on the letters to HMRC, saying that some of them are
‘patronising at best, and sometimes insulting.’

President John Cullinane said: ‘The CIoT welcomes the principle of looking at
more flexible forms of dealing with taxpayers on compliance issues and the
approach of piloting proposed approaches. However, we do have many and
significant concerns with the approach taken with these letters, even in the
context of a pilot.’

The letters contain technical errors, the institute says, and imply at times
that taxpayers should respond where in fact the process is entirely voluntary.

It criticises in particular the suggestion that the move is a ‘lighter touch’
approach given some of the difficult issues asked about.

The report concludes that the CIOT ‘believes HMRC should consider urgently
whether the pilot should be suspended and its key elements reviewed in
consultation with the profession’.

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