Audit Powers in Relation to Non-Residents

New Clause 20 – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 15th July 1991.

Alert me about debates like this

'. The following section shall be inserted after section 482 of the Taxes Act 1988— Audit powers in relation to non-residents.

482A.—(1) The Board may make regulations with respect to the exclusion, in relation to investments of persons who are not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, of powers conferred by regulations made by virtue of section 477A (2)(a) or 482(11)(aa)("audit powers").

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) above may in particular—

  1. "(a) make provision for the exclusion of audit powers in the case of any building society or deposit-taker to be dependent on whether the society or deposit-taker is approved by the Board for the purposes of the regulations and on the scope of that approval;
  2. (b) make provision with respect to the approval of building societies and deposit-takers by the Board for the purposes of the regulations;
  3. (c) make provision with respect to, and with respect to alteration of, the scope of approval by the Board for the purposes of the regulations;
  4. (d) make provision with respect to the termination of approval by the Board for the purposes of the regulations; and
  5. (e) make provision with respect to appeals against decisions of the Board with respect to approval for the purposes of the regulations, including decisions with respect to the scope of such approval.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) above may—

  1. (a) make different provision for different cases; and
  2. (b) contain such supplementary, incidental, consequential or transitional provision as appears to the Board to be appropriate.

(4) In this section "deposit-taker" has the meaning given by section 481(2).".'.—[Mr. Maude.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The purpose of the new clause is to enable banks and building societies to make special arrangements with the Revenue on maintaining records relating to accounts held by their non-ordinarily resident depositors. Where satisfactory internal procedures for self-regulation are introduced, the Inland Revenue's power to audit those accounts will cease to apply. The new clause responds to some genuine anxieties about a provision in last year's Finance Bill. It follows exhaustive discussions between the Revenue and the banks. I hope that the provision meets with the approval of the House.

4 pm

Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)

We should like an assurance from the Financial Secretary that the Revenue will not in any way be disadvantaged by the new clause in its eternal pursuit of those who evade their obligations to pay tax.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

There is always a balance to be struck between the proper interests of the Revenue and, indeed, of this House in ensuring that tax which is properly due is paid and the interest of retaining proper confidentiality. I have considered the matter carefully and I am satisfied that that balance is properly struck in this case.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

Will this new clause affect the affairs of the company that purchased Westminster cemeteries, which operates in the United Kingdom as well as abroad?

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I cannot comment on that without being given any notice whatever. It is an interesting and fascinating question, but one to which I am afraid that I must deny the hon. Gentleman an answer.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.