Do HMRC have the power to enforce asset disclosure?

Yes. HMRC will be given new powers allowing the Commissioners to force financial institutions such as banks to provide information regarding people’s assets.

Under new measures proposed in the next Financial Bill, financial institutions will be required to pass on customer information if they are served with a “financial institution notice”.

If you need HMRC Tax Investigation advice, we are available to aid you at every stage of the HMRC investigate process. Members of our legal team have first-hand experience and knowledge of the internal workings of HMRC. We can provide you with the very best representation in negotiations with HMRC and defending all forms of HMRC fraud, tax inquiry, tax fraud investigation, criminal tax evasion and HMRC enquiries and investigations. Our team specialises in successfully challenging HMRC decisions and will assist you in every aspect of the investigation.

Why have HMRC been provided with this power?

Currently HMRC will need consent from the individual or tax tribunal to receive information from financial institution however the new measure will allow HMRC to request the information directly.

The reason for the measure is to make the it easier and quicker for HMRC to share information with foreign tax authorities as part of a global crackdown on tax evasion.

Financial institutions included in the asset enforcement:

  • Banks
  • Investment advisers
  • Fund managers
  • Credit unions
  • Insurance Companies
  • Credit cad issuers

How has the measure been critisised?

The Chartered Institute of Taxation has expressed concern about the loss of independent tribunal oversight particularly in cases that involve a request for information about UK taxpayers.

UK Finance also described the measure as “watering down safeguards”.

HMRC state that the new measures are important with regards to the battle against tax evasion and avoidance and would help them deal with the issue in “an appropriate and effective way”.

“The new notice will contain numerous safeguards for taxpayers, in line with practice in all other G20 countries, and the power can only be used in specific circumstances where the information is reasonably required for the purposes of checking a taxpayer’s tax position,”

HM Revenues & Cusoms

Risk of using an accountant against HMRC…

It is important to note that all client communications to accountants are not legally privileged and are easy for HMRC to obtain; however, communications to lawyers are legally privileged and highly confidential. Therefore it is beneficial to the success of many of our clients’ cases that we be instructed to instruct an experienced forensic accountant on your behalf.

Although you may have instructed an accountant in relation to your accounts and tax matters for yourself or your business, in most cases your accountant should realistically only assist you in tax compliance matters whereas we specialise in assisting you in relation to any investigations that HMRC have brought against you. We regularly work with accountants to ensure that collectively we are able to obtain the best possible resolution to your matter.

What is a Tax Investigation?


A tax investigation is an enquiry conducted by HMRC into the tax affairs and tax payment history of any UK individual, employee, director or company. A HMRC tax investigation can come in many forms and covers a range of taxes covered under HMRC jurisdiction such as: VAT; income tax; corporation tax and capital gains tax.

The type and severity of the investigation is completely dependent on the facts of any individual case. Typically, an investigation generally commences when HMRC notice irregularities in information supplied via a Self Assessment Tax return. A taxpayer will receive a letter from HMRC informing them that an investigation has been opened into their tax affairs and may include a request for information.

It is strongly recommended that you consult a tax lawyer as soon as possible to receive detailed advice on how to take control of the situation and negotiate with HMRC.

Expert London Tax Investigation Lawyers

If you need HMRC Tax Investigation advice, we are available to aid you at every stage of the HMRC investigate process. Members of our legal team have first-hand experience and knowledge of the internal workings of HMRC. We can provide you with the very best representation in negotiations with HMRC and defending all forms of HMRC fraud, tax inquiry, tax fraud investigation, criminal tax evasion and HMRC enquiries and investigations. Our team specialises in successfully challenging HMRC decisions and will assist you in every aspect of the investigation.

Our specialist Tax Solicitors and Barristers deliver expert technical knowledge, strong negotiation skills and respected advice, which can make a pronounced difference to eventual tax penalties, charges and liability.

We provide urgent advice and representation to clients from our unique expert team of established Tax and Duties specialist solicitors and barristers with a proven track record of delivering authoritative results. Just call us on 0207 1830 529, or email [email protected].

Want legal advice from Tax Solicitors on your case?

Our simple enquiry form goes immediately to our tax litigators in Middle Temple, London. Call us on +442071830529 from 9am-6pm.

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