With HMRC proposals to recover owed taxes recently receiving Royal Assent, the Forum of Private Business has come out in opposition against them.

They want the Government to drop the plans entirely, which include the powers to take money straight small businesses bank accounts – even before a court decision has been made. This means the taxman would be able to take people’s money with no external supervision.

This has, unsurprisingly, made people very uneasy about the new powers HMRC are gaining in the name of fighting tax evasion. The FPB claim the plans will disproportionately affect small businesses who are less able to deal with unexpected costs.

There has also been some disquiet in the House of Commons with some MPs raising concerns about the proposals.

The Head of Policy at the FPB, Alexander Jackman, said: “Our members are unequivocal in their condemnation of tax avoidance and the tax evasion practices that have received significant coverage in the media, in particular the practices of large corporates.

“However, many of our members already feel that they are unfairly targeted by HMRC and these proposals do little to dispel this commonly held belief. The smaller scope of their operations means many small business owners feel much more vulnerable to investigations than larger firms with more complex tax arrangements.

“Small firms are only just recovering from the increased regulatory burden of Real Time Information on their accounts and this is only set to increase with the introduction of pensions auto enrolment. As a result this makes them extremely wary of any plans to give additional powers to the taxman.”

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