HMRC has issued factsheet on the individual rights of taxpayers who are facing penalties for non-compliance with tax rules.
The factsheet sets out the individual’s rights when HMRC asks for information regarding potential tax evasion and the extent of HMRC’s power to excise penalties.
- You have the right under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act not to answer HMRC questions. This is often called the right not to self-incriminate or the right to silence. However, this doesn’t cover information or documents that already exist.
- You have the right to get help from a professional adviser with regards to making decisions with how much you are going to co-operate with HMRC.
- You have the right to have the matter of penalties dealt with without unreasonable delay. HMRC will inform you if penalties are due once you have agreed your tax position with them.
- If you are charged with a penalty, you have the right to ask for a review or appeal. You also have the right to ask for your review or appeal against both the tax and the penalty decisions to be considered together.
- You have the right to apply for publicly funded legal assistance or Legal Aid. Funding may be available to help you bring certain appeals before the tribunal.