Clause 10 - Powers to require information
Mr Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
That confuses me a little. I am not a lawyer, as I freely admit and proclaim from the rooftops, but I would have thought that if the Inland Revenue has a certain right in relation to a person, it would, where that person has an agent acting for him, be able to deal with the agent, but ultimate liability would lie not with the agent but with the person. That is important because in the next clause, if we get there, we will find that penalties fall on people specified in clause 10 for failing to produce documents. That would make an agent liable for failure to produce a document on behalf of his client or principal. That seems to me to be out of kilter with what I would have understood to be the normal arrangement -that an accountant handing over data to the Inland Revenue would be doing so on behalf of his principal.