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HMRC’s proposed new data-gathering powers

On 9 December 2010 HMRC issued a second consultation document on its proposals to modernise and consolidate the regime for collecting ‘bulk’ or ‘specialist’ information about taxpayers from third parties. Draft legislation has been published. The closing date for comments is 9 February 2011.

‘Bulk’ information powers are used to gather information about a group of taxpayers usually for risk analysis purposes. ‘Specialist’ information gathering powers are used in very specific circumstances often to try to identify specific taxpayers. Both sets of powers apply to defined types of third parties ranging from employers through banks to estate agents.

The current powers (save for some minor specialist powers) will be consolidated into a Schedule of the Finance Act 2011 where harmonised procedures will apply.

As a general observation given the recent revamp of information powers in...

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