Inquiry gives IR increased access to files

The Inland Revenue will have increased powers to gain access to tax advisers' confidential files, following the Government inquiry led by Law Society ex-president Philip Ely.

Accountants Pannell Kerr Forster says it is concerned that this may represent a “serious invasion of privacy”.

The firm says that safeguards called for by Ely have not been incorporated into the new rules, published in draft clauses to the Finance Bill.

Such safeguards would enforce limited use of the extended powers and their operation would be tightly-controlled, say the accountants.