Tom Rowbotham, Director at Deloitte comments “The budget has not
included any surprises and reflects the increasing interaction between
business, the profession and HMRC both through informal interaction and
the extensive consultation process undertaken in a lot of areas.
“The items introduced within the budget are underpinned with a series of
supplementary documents in relation to the ongoing drive on protecting
tax revenues and delivering of new and development of better
relationships with business and advisors.
“Update on the Varney review was a useful summary of progress to date but
did not provide us with anything new. Both HMRC and business accept
there is still a lot of work to do but it has been acknowledged by
business of the progress made to date.
“The alignment of time limits for assessing is generally to be welcomed
and particularly the reduction of the period available for HMRC to
assess when there has been failure to take reasonable care which now we
believe reflects the position.
“The note on Compliance checks outlines the proposals put forward in the
latest consultation process. It will not have been possible to
incorporate any of the feedback on the basis the closing dates was only
6 days ago.
“Whilst the feedback may result in changes we currently have a concern
that the proposed new information powers in relation to third parties
have a lack of independent approval and if no change is made it is
imperative that an transparent internal process is put in place to give
the necessary comfort that matters have been fully considered by people
with the necessary experience and expertise before action is taken.
“We do not support the current intention of a power allowing HMRC to
visit business in order to inspect record before a return is filed. Any
such review will not be able to consider the work which would be taken
when preparing the end of year return and the filing position.
“The extension of the penalty provisions is in line with the legislation
introduced in 2007. However the judgement as to the level of penalty
remains a subjective test and the publication of HMRC's guidance will
give greater clarity around their definition of each behaviour.”