We typically think of HMRC's powers in the context of the tax affairs of individuals. However, the review of HMRC's powers and safeguards includes, among the eight powers singled out for greatest scrutiny, several that asset managers and other corporate clients have had to consider in recent years, including publication of tax strategies, the failure to prevent offences, the diverted profits tax, and the GAAR.

The review derives from the critical report by the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs entitled HMRC: Treating Taxpayers Fairly, the same report which has led to re-evaluation of the loan charge.


The focus of the review is on HMRC's implementation rather than the rules themselves. We would be very interested to talk to clients who wish to share their experiences of dealing with HMRC on any of these topics.

You will have to be quick though; possibly showing how seriously HMRC and government are taking this important issue of the balance between HMRC's powers and taxpayers' rights, having only finalised the list of powers in question on 4 February, responses to the review need to be submitted by 8 February.