Finance Bill debate of 02nd July
“The Government have been celebrating and espousing their reverence for the eight-centuries-old principles set out in Magna Carta. It was that charter that established the supremacy of the law by dictating that no Englishman could be punished without first going through the proper legal process. That set in train a constitutional revolution that has seen billions across the globe having their rights expanded and protected against an all-powerful state.
Yet at the same time, our Government are now overseeing the creation of a law that will permit HMRC to confiscate a citizen’s property before the courts have established who is legitimately entitled to it.
The DOTAS register was a good idea. It was designed to promote openness and transparency in investors’ relations with the HMRC.
It is now, in effect, introducing retrospective legislation, with DOTAS declaration being used as a stick with which to beat legitimate investors—those who had never planned on having the liquid assets to meet disputed liabilities.”
from The Parliament’s website
“The Exchequer Secretary has claimed that these measures are not retrospective. However, this statement is false.
“The changes will apply to any legitimate and registered tax planning arrangement entered into as far back as 2004, and retrospectively change the way that tax disputes are dealt with. There is the real danger that if the Exchequer Secretary is allowed to defend this legislation by saying that the changes are not retrospective, MPs may be misled into passing an extremely draconian and unjust retrospective change to the law which will have serious financial repercussions for tens of thousands of businesses and individuals. Indeed, you will be aware that the Treasury Select Committee has strongly criticised this aspect of the legislation and said that the Government has not made a case as to why these measures should apply retrospectively.
It is surely perfectly reasonable that any new tax legislation should only apply going forward, and should not be applied retrospectively to those cases which are already in the system.”