Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Events CIOT/IFS debate: The powers of HMRC and the responsibility of citizens in today's world

CIOT/IFS debate: The powers of HMRC and the responsibility of citizens in today's world

Over recent years HMRC have gained significant additional powers to enforce tax law, against a backdrop of public and political anger about 'tax dodging' of borth the illegal and legal kinds. There have been criticisms from some quarters that these powers go too far - and they lack adequate safeguards, that rights of appeal are too limited and that the government's approach does not discriminate effectively between the different behaviours it is trying to influence. Others have suggested that they do not go far enough - that even greater powers (such as a stronger GAAR) are needed, along with increased resources for enforcement. Some claim that HMRC is too aggressive in its pursuit of some taxpayers (eg. with the 2019 loan charge) and oversteps the original policy intent while some criticise the tax authority for being insufficiently vigorous in its persuit of multinational firms and wealthy taxpayers. 

What are the responsibilites of taxpayers - and their advisers - and do they change in an environment of pre-populated digital tax accounts? Is it reasonable to expect an unrepresented taxpayer to understand their tax obligations in full? What constitutes 'taking reasonable care'? Does HMRC have the right set of powers and how will they need to evolve? Is there a need to a new Powers Review? Should a new oversight body be created to ensure the tax authority is even-handed or does this risk politicising the tax system?

Our panel will consider these questions and more as they explore this highly topical issue.

The debate panel will consist of:

Sir Edward Troup- Former HMRC Executive Chair

Malcolm Gammie QC- Chair, IFS Tax Law Review Committee

Nicky Morgan MP- Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee

Kelly Sizer- Senior Technical Manager, Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

The debate will be chaired by Ray McCann, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation



Registration: This event is now sold out. If you would like to be put on a waiting list for this event should spaces become available, please contact Sam at

This event is free to attend but must be registered for. This is the latest in a series of lectures and debates being organised by the CIOT and the IFS to promote deabte among policy-makers, opinion-formers and wider tax and economics communities on the future of the UK and international tax systems. 

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Samantha Bromwich at