Extent of new HMRC criminal powers not yet known

The effect of new criminal powers for HM
Revenue & Customs
announced in yesterday’s Budget won’t be known until
the finance bill is published, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The changes though are likely to come into force this year.

, tax investigations partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: ‘HM
Revenue & Customs has been consulting on these changes for some time and
PricewaterhouseCoopers has contributed to the consultation process. We will not
know the extent to which HMRC has taken on board the representations that have
been made until the
is published.’

Cawdron said a balance needed to be achieved between ensuring that HMRC is
given the powers that it needs, while not bearing too heavily on the vast
majority of compliant taxpayers.

‘We are concerned about the extension of the ability to arrest and we would
not expect to see a sudden increase in the use of this power,’ he added.

Further reading:

Budget 2007: Brown’s last Budget

New VAT rules to curb carousel fraud set for June

Budget 2007: Is it smoke and mirrors?

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