I agree, although I think Jolyon’s suggested remit is too narrow and shows his legal background. I would include the need for a thorough review of the governance of HMRC in the brief. As I have said before, and will say again, it is absurd that HMRC’s board is made up from the large business community and its advisers, who between them represent about 700 tax payers when there are 31 million income tax payers alone in the UK.
It is also absurd that parliament has almost no resources available to it to scrutinise HMRC. Margaret Hodge may have done well, but it was despite the National Audit Office and not because of them. Indeed, the NAO fought long and hard to deny information on HMRC to the PAC. That is wholly unacceptable and must change. It is why I suggest that there should be an Office for Tax Responsibility reporting straight to the PAC that can properly audit HMRC and tax policy.
Third, any review should look at the resourcing of HMRC.
And last, in any such review rather more than the interests of big business and the tax profession must be represented or this will look like a stitch up and that is the very last thing that is needed now.
Unless, of course, such a review team is unpaid. But that’s what the call for resources is about, no?