Kev Kinsella of KinsellaTax Investigations Ltd was pleased to hear that Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary of HM Revenue and Customs has stated that delivering trust to the taxpayer is proving difficult.

Speaking to an invited audience at the ICAEW Tax Faculty Hardman Lecture Hartnett said, that despite efforts over the last 4 years, ‘trust is really elusive’.

He appealed for more co-operation and mutual understanding with companies and tax advisors.

Although blaming HMRC for lost data discs Hartnett, perhaps unsurprisingly, also blamed tax advisors for aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

“And now what are we to think of the alchemists turning income into capital? It’s not enough for advisers to want more competitiveness, but then advise clients on how to leave the country.”

Hartnett challenged the professional bodies to develop stronger relationships with their embers so that HMRC can generate better links with taxpayers.

He declared:-

“Trust us more and shift the perceptions that currently exist.”

Anna Redston, professor in law at King’s College London said she did agree with a great deal of what HMRC are trying to do, although she, like many others, has concerns about the new powers regime.

There has been a great deal of umbrage taken in respect of HMRC’s new powers regime.

It is widely believed that HMRC inspectors and officers should not be given the same inspection and seizure powers as other authorities as the training they are given is just not sufficient.

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