Monday, February 05, 2007
Those of you who enjoy interacting with the taxman, may be pleased to hear that you may have even more opportunities to "interact" with him in the future.
Seemingly taxpayers may have their phones tapped and their homes bugged in the future, if new surveillance powers are granted to HM Revenue & Customs tax inspectors.
Nanny's chums in HMRC claim that inspectors need such powers to tackle the growing threat from organised and white-collar crime.
Needless to say not everyone is convinced, lawyers and accountants argue that these powers could breach human rights rules.
Harry Travers, a solicitor who specialises in defending clients targeted by HMRC, says that the new powers were a possible breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"A number of Customs and Excise prosecutions have spectacularly collapsed
in recent years due to the abuse by officers of their powers,
not because their powers were inadequate."
Nanny's chums in the HMRC are nonplussed by the objections. A spokesman for HMRC claims that the new powers for bugging are a rational move, after the merger of Customs and the Inland Revenue in 2005.