Accountancy Age report this morning that:
HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS has begun its search for a permanent General Anti-Abuse Rule advisory panel, following the recent appointment of its head, Patrick Mears, the former partner and head of tax at law firm Allen & Overy.
In an advert posted online, the taxman states the eight roles available are voluntary, with the necessary expenses covered. Initial appointments will be for three years, although it is believed there is some flexibility.
Like the interim panel, the permanent panel will be drawn from a broad base of sectors, and will have extensive tax knowledge. The panel will convene six times a year, and it is expected appointments will be made shortly after the interview process is completed in the week beginning 17 June.
And therein lies the problem. You must be have extensive tax knowledge.
For the record, that is not why I am not applying. I am omniscient with regards to taxation. But I wouldn’t do it unless they pay me. Or at least let me advertise my books in the published decisions.
They didn’t even let me do this with the GAAR guidance.
But the extensive tax knowledge condition prevents almost everybody from HMRC applying. Or anybody with a conscience or moral compass who is scared of being offended by other peoples’ opinions on the internet.
Also because the advert is posted on the internet, those who are suitably qualified at HMRC won’t see it because they aren’t allowed or qualified to use computers.
Welcome to the surreal world of people with extensive knowledge making decisions about things that they have extensive knowledge in.
On the other hand, the clearance system under my GRAPIST would hand complete authority to junior HMRC staff to make decisions on the basis of what they might questionably assume something to be on first glance.