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Lords Finance Bill Sub-Committee to hear evidence on tax avoidance measures and new tax checks

Friday 2 October 2020

On Monday 5 October 2020 the House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee will be taking evidence from two panels of witnesses as part of its new inquiry on the draft Finance Bill 2020–21.

These public evidence sessions will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members. The session will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

The first session will begin at 4pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Susan Cattell, Head of Tax Technical Policy, Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS)
  • Frank Haskew, Head of Tax, Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Richard Wild, Head of Tax Technical, Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

The second session will begin at 5pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Lydia Challen – Chair of Tax Committee, Law Society (LS)
  • Yvonne Evans – Tax Law Sub-Committee, Law Society of Scotland (LSS)
  • Fiona Fernie – Tax Investigations Practitioners Group (TIPG).

Questions the Committee is likely to ask both panels include:

  • HMRC say that there are over 20 promoters that continue to sell tax avoidance schemes. Which proposed measures will be the most effective against these remaining promoters?
  • Is HMRC doing enough to publicise warnings about schemes to potential users?
  • Under the proposals, it appears that safeguards will be dealt with through internal governance processes, with individual officers making the key decisions. Is this appropriate given the nature of the new powers HMRC is seeking?
  • What changes might be made to safeguard taxpayers using tax advisers who are currently unregulated?
  • Is it right to make licences to trade conditional on compliance with tax obligations?
  • Is the removal of the need to get tax tribunal approval for getting third-party information from financial institutions justified?
  • Do HMRC’s proposals on notifying uncertain tax treatment respect the balance of power between HMRC and taxpayers?

More on this inquiry

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee’s inquiry is focussing on three areas of the draft Finance Bill 2020–21, all of which are related to the powers of HMRC:

  • New proposals for tackling promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes;
  • New tax checks on licence renewal applications; and
    Amendments to HMRC’s civil information powers.

This inquiry has its own web page.

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