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Recent developments on the banking code of practice

Speed read

The draft guidance sets out HMRC’s views on the circumstances in which a proposed course of action should be regarded as being contrary to the intentions of Parliament.

This is a highly subjective area which has relevance to all taxpayers and not just banks given the current public attitude to the morality of tax avoidance. Whilst much of the guidance seems reasonable it is overly prescriptive in certain cases. The draft legislation is intended to tread the fine line between providing teeth to HMRC in relation to breaches of the code and protecting taxpayers’ rights. As such it too has relevance to all taxpayers and not just banks. The draft legislation provides for an independent reviewer to report on whether a bank has breached the code and if so whether the bank should be named in HMRC’s report. However there are certain limitations on...

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