Tax inspectors have been given police-like powers to access people’s bank statements, address books, payslips and even diaries, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
The revenue has said it plans to recover the unpaid tax when they complete their self-assessment forms by January 2012 Photo: ALAMY
The inspectors can now turn up at people’s homes or businesses unannounced and examine their records if they believe not enough tax has been paid.
The news comes at the end of a week in which HM Revenue & Customs was accused of incompetence because of failings in the ‘pay-as-you-earn’ (PAYE) system. About 1.4 million people are now facing tax demands because of HMRC errors.
The scale of the new powers for tax inspectors, which were first introduced last year under the Finance Act 2008, have only become apparent after HMRC started to publish redacted versions of their training manuals on the internet.
Gary Ashford, head of tax risk, disputes and investigations at accountancy firm RSM Tenon, said that the powers under civil law made tax inspectors more powerful than the police.
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Tags: 1984, Civil liberties, George Orwell, Global News, Government, HMRC, New World Order, Police State, Politics, Society, Taxes, Taxpayers, U.K.