House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee – Inquiry into Draft Finance Bill 2018
The LITRG welcomes the opportunity to respond to this inquiry on behalf of low-income and unrepresented taxpayers. We believe that while HMRC must have the power to administer and enforce the tax system effectively and fairly, those powers must be proportionate, there must be accessible safeguards in place and there should be independent oversight. We consider the new proposals in clauses 33-34 of Finance Bill 2018 and the proposals around HMRC's civil information powers are starting to tip the balance of power much more in favour of HMRC.
We also do not support the extension of the time limit for assessing additional tax in offshore cases to 12 years in clauses 33-34 of Finance Bill 2018 and strongly recommend that additional specific safeguards are provided for, in particular, the introduction of a de minimis limit to prevent the collection of immaterial amounts of tax, often from elderly low-income taxpayers who have made an innocent error.
We continue to be concerned about five key areas of the Making Tax Digital for VAT programme:
- timetable for implementation
- software development
- progress of the pilots
- support for the digitally excluded and those needing digital assistance
- HMRC's communication strategy.
Our submission can be found here: Inquiry into Draft Finance Bill 2018 – LITRG response