HMRC wants to force reporting of tax dodging

HM Revenue & Customs is requesting new powers that would enable them to insist that individuals pass on details of anyone they suspect of tax dodging. If someone is involved in an 'economic transaction' with someone unknown to the HMRC, that individual could be required to make a report to the taxman, under the new proposals.

As the current law stands, there is no law requiring individuals or companies to declare payments they make. They are perfectly entitled to make a payment in cash to a supplier, or someone providing goods without having to concern themselves as to whether the person they are paying is disclosing the details of the transaction to the HMRC in order to pay tax. If the new proposed powers were granted, people paying in cash might be required to advise the HMRC of any suspicion they might have of tax dodging.

HMRC says the new proposals have been made in order to comply with the Global Forum on Transparency's advice that Britain is not fully meeting its obligations to help foreign tax authorities pursue their own citizens under mutual assistance arrangements. The new powers would not however be exclusively applied to foreign taxpayers as this would contravene European Union law. The consultation on the proposals will continue until 29th September.

If you live in Northern Ireland and require advice on income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, or general tax planning, contact Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Belfast or Bangor by email at .

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