HMRC's Civil Information Powers

Is HMRC seeking to acquire more powers to enable them to intrude into the private financial affairs of ordinary citizens?

HMRC Consultation Document

There's an interesting document that has been doing the rounds since July 2018. Published by HMRC it's a document inviting consultation and comments about how they wish to increase their powers to access information about tax payers

So, What is this all About?

Well according to headlines in the Daily Mail, "Taxman will now have 'shocking' new powers to raid bank accounts with NO warning" (Read here).

The FT says "HMRC seeks new access to taxpayers' bank accounts" (Read here)

Are the FT and Mail just looking to sell newspapers here? I think not. 

Do you know about MTD?

Making Tax Digital, is HMRC's initiative to push taxpayers to report and pay tax more regularly.
This means that bookkeeping will need to be up to date and not left until the end of the year (if that's advisable in any circumstances). All filings will be done by connecting to a businesses records digitally rather than by manual entry onto a HMRC portal. Many accountants already file electroncially, but this is a step up from that, whereby there will be transactional information potentially available to HMRC. This will also mean that direct access to bank accounts is very much on the agenda.

Initial timelines for this revolutionary program have been put back (they always are!). But the intentions are still live. And businesses need to be very much aware of their obligations and technological requirements.

I'm taking a keen interest in MTD developments and I will be writing more on this topic in the coming weeks and months as the waters become less muddied and the software developers start to produce their products to comply with this subject.

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