Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

Labour’s tax panel to focus on administration

printer Mail

As reported last week, the Labour Party’s tax proposals include the appointment of an ‘independent expert panel’ to advise the party on tax policy. A recent summary of Labour’s commitments to ‘crack down on tax dodgers’ clarifies the remit of the panel which, it says, will be ‘to advise the party on developing a high-level blueprint for how to improve tax compliance, as well as how to modernise and digitise HMRC’s offer’.

The following will be within the panel’s scope, according to the summary:

  • ‘Strategic and operational issues relating to increasing compliance and enforcement of the rules, as well as any legislative changes to HMRC’s powers and penalties.’ This will include interaction of HMRC with other parties ‘to enforce the law’, although the report does not specify who the other parties might be.
  • Digitisation is expected to cover Making Tax Digital and the single customer account, together with the replacement of legacy internal HMRC systems and harnessing the potential of new digital and technological developments.

HMRC’s ‘customer service’ will also be within the remit of the panel, suggesting the party takes seriously the widespread criticism of HMRC’s levels of service in recent years. The panel will look at issues including how to balance the need to deal with complex cases with providing suitable support for other taxpayers.

The report confirms that ‘the panel includes’ (presumably leaving open the possibility of expanding its membership in due course):

  • Sir Edward Troup, former HMRC Permanent Secretary and former Treasury special adviser on tax;
  • Dame Margaret Hodge MP, former Chair of the Public Accounts Committee;
  • Bill Dodwell, former Tax Director of the Office for Tax Simplification; and
  • Mike Bracken CBE, founding partner at Public Digital, and founder and former Executive Director of the UK Government Digital Service.
Issue: 1659
Categories: News