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New powers for HMRC report debated in House of Lords

4 June 2021

The House of Lords debates the Finance Bill Sub-Committee’s 2020 report, New powers for HMRC: fair and proportionate?

Tuesday 8 June 2021 from 2.30pm


The debate is being moved by Lord Bridges of Headley, former Chair of the Finance Bill Sub-Committee.

A full list of Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed in the Speakers' Lists.

Key recommendations

The ‘New Powers for HMRC’ report’s main conclusions and recommendations were as follows.

  • The new HMRC powers are disproportionate, poorly targeted and without safeguards. The Committee calls for HMRC to make better use of its existing powers before seeking new legislation.
  • The Government must redouble efforts to prevent the proliferation of new tax avoidance schemes. The Committee welcomes the proposals for getting tough, but calls on the Government to keep its focus on the promoters of these schemes. The report also highlights the vulnerability of lower income taxpayers to these schemes.
  • The Committee objects to the Government’s proposals for changes to HMRC's civil information powers. It is very concerned about the removal of taxpayer safeguards for information requests. The proposals are flawed and not supported by evidence.
  • The Committee is worried about 'mission creep' in the proposals for new tax checks for licence renewal applications. These checks may go beyond a simple check for tax registration, and could result in more traders becoming unlicensed.

Further information