The House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-committee has invited written contributions for its inquiry on the draft Finance Bill 2018. The Sub-committee is considering developments in the balance of powers and safeguards between HMRC and taxpayers. In particular, the Sub-committee is interested in:

• what principles should underlie the design of HMRC powers and where should the balance be struck between taxpayer and HMRC?

• what principles should govern the development of HMRC powers in a globalised digital information age?

• to what extent, or in what areas, is the existing balance of powers between HMRC and the taxpayer inappropriate or unfair?

• how should HMRC powers be differentiated to reflect the different problems being tackled eg careless error, sophisticated tax avoidance, and deliberate tax evasion?

• how are HMRC’s powers operating in practice? Are they being used in line with their original policy intent?

• is there sufficient oversight of HMRC powers and safeguards against their abuse or misuse? Does the oversight and governance of the powers need to be improved? If so, how?

• what is the right balance of powers and safeguards in the security deposit regime and the assessment of offshore matters, for which amendments are proposed in clauses 33–35 of the draft Finance Bill?

A copy of the parliamentary update can be viewed here.