HMRC have announced that they will extend the consultation period on the proposed ‘deliberate wrongdoing’ legislation. This move has been welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).The consultation period has been extended until the 28th April which means that this would not become law until the next parliament as it would miss next month’s Budget.
Commenting on this news, President of CIOT, Andrew Hubbard said: “We are pleased to note that HMRC have moved quickly to respond to the concerns which we raised about the draft legislation. We particularly welcome the fact that any applications to the Tribunal for access to working papers of agents who are accused of deliberate wrongdoing must be made at a hearing which the agent has the right to attend. The interest of justice would not have been served had the proposal to deny agents the right to be represented been implemented.
He concluded: “We also welcome the fact that the consultation period is to be extended. We fully support HMRC having a power to deal effectively with the very small number of agents who are involved in what amounts to fraud in relation to a client’s tax liabilities, but the legislation as drafted went far wider than this. In our opinion, it would have been unworkable and would have created a very damaging rift between HMRC and tax advisers. We believe that the extension to the time limit will allow time for mature reflection and result in legislation which is properly targeted, effective and proportionate.”