Outrage went up a notch this week over HMRC plans set out in the Budget to recover unpaid tax directly from bank accounts without a court order.
The Commons Treasury Committee today put a spotlight on the proposed “draconian powers” in its report into the Budget, and pointed out HMRC’s history of mistakes.
The committee said taxpayers could suffer “serious detriment” if officials are able - either by mistake or through an abuse of power - to take money from people who have done no wrong.
“The ability directly to have access to millions of taxpayers’ bank accounts raises concerns about the risk of fraud and error,” the report said. “This policy is highly dependent on HMRC’s ability accurately to determine which taxpayers owe money and what amounts they owe, an ability not always demonstrated in the past. Incorrectly collecting money will result in serious detriment to taxpayers.”
The tax authority's consultation document says...