Under current and previous rulings, banks are required to tell their customers if tax officials are looking to inspect their statements.
New legislation, published this week, will allow the HMRC to inspect taxpayers bank accounts in secret. This will allow the HMRC to conduct secret investigations over taxpayers.
The new powers relate to information orders, used to check that someone is paying the correct level of income, capital gains and corporation tax and VAT. Hundreds of such orders have been issued in the past in order to crack down on tax evasion.
Many critics are identifying the aggressive tax crackdown act as a breach of privacy. While foreign governments have complained that is so ‘onerous’, they discouraged from making a request for information when investigating someone with a connection to the UK.