As announced in last year's Budget, HM Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue are to merge to create a single new organisation called HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The current powers of both Customs and the Inland Revenue will not be changed in any significant respect, however, HM Customs and Excise has published a consultation document seeking comments on a draft advice note which has been prepared to explain the legal powers of the new entity and answering a series of questions that users may have about HMRC including information on how HMRC officers will approach their dealings with taxpayers and claimants.
The final version of the advice note will be published once HMRC comes into being, but in the meantime comments are sought on the terms of the draft by 9 February 2005.
A wide ranging review of the existing powers of both Customs and the Revenue is proposed and a consultation paper on the powers of the HMRC is expected to be issued this month.
The text of the draft advice note on the legal powers of HMRC is available from the H M Customs and Excise website.