Osborne should drop draconian tax plans

A FT editorial criticises George Osborne’s plans to allow HMRC to access people’s bank accounts in order to remove funds it believes it is owed. In support of the British Bankers’ Association’s recent call for Mr Osborne to scrap the idea, the piece describes the powers as far too draconian and suggests the rules might open the way for other public bodies – such as TV Licensing and local authorities – to make similar unsupervised raids on private bank accounts. HMRC should pursue those who refuse to pay tax although they are able to the paper says, however, the taxman requires greater human and financial resources – “not blunt legislative powers that threaten to infringe basic human rights”.

Source: Financial Times

As we’ve said before, this plan is wrong on so many levels.  Even if HMRC could be relied upon never ever to make a mistake in applying these powers, it is simply wrong for anyone, whether government department or not, to have the unfettered power to break open your piggy-bank without a court order.  And when you consider the track record of HMRC in getting things wrong (only yesterday the Sunday Telegraph carried a plaintive piece about a pensioner who had been asked to pay the same tax debt three times) the case for entrusting HMRC with these powers becomes about as rational as bringing back Fred Goodwin to run the Bank of England.



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.


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