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The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has issued its fourth report of 2017-19 session which covers HMRC’s powers. The report provides detailed consideration of the introduction of the extension to offshore time limits, the proposed changes to HMRC’s civil information powers and the 2019 loan charge. The report also covers taxpayer safeguards, policy processes and HMRC powers, accountability and changing culture.

The report sets out a number of recommendations including:

The amendment of current and draft legislation

The Committee focused specifically on the proposed legislation regarding the extension of offshore time limits (currently at paras 79 and 80 of F (No 3) Bill 2018), and the 2019 loan charge legislation (contained in F (No 2) Act 2017).  

The Committee was critical of the consultation process in respect of the extension of offshore time limit legislation, highlighting the fact that the full consultation process had not been undertaken, that no consideration had been given to the proposed time limit - merely a suggestion of 12 years, and that the measure removed the distinction currently in place between fully compliant and careless taxpayers.