The Conduct of Tax Enquiries and the Resolution of Tax Disputes inquiry

06 July 2018

Scope of the Inquiry

HMRC is responsible for the collection and management of taxes, duties and national insurance contributions. In its code of governance for resolving tax disputes, HMRC outlines internal governance processes that are intended to ensure that it deals with all tax disputes fairly and in an even-handed manner.

The Treasury Sub-Committee launched an enquiry that will examine whether HMRC’s approach to conducting tax enquiries, resolving tax disputes and determining the amount of tax to be paid meets those standards.

The Treasury Sub-Committee have received written submissions from a range of interested parties that have sought to provide evidence that addresses in what way:

  • How do HMRC governance and settlement processes affect its ability to resolve tax disputes in a proportionate and fair way?
  • Does HMRC’s litigation and settlement strategy provide a rational and sound framework for resolving tax disputes?
  • Do HMRC’s collection and management powers set out in the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 provide HMRC with sufficient flexibility to achieve cost-effective and fair results?
  • Does HMRC’s approach to enforcing compliance with tax law, including its approach to penalties and other sanctions, result in disproportionate or unjust outcomes? If so, how can the situation be remedied?
  • Is there sufficient governance over the whole of HMRC’s enquiry process to ensure that HMRC’s interventions are well-targeted and that taxpayers are treated fairly and professionally throughout?
  • Do HMRC’s governance processes provide sufficient scrutiny and assurance for clearances and approvals given to taxpayers outside the formal enquiry process?
Notes from the first the first oral session together with all written submissions are available at UK Parliament website on the Treasury Sub-committee enquiry page