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Tax Law

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Attorney-General (1) what discussions he has had with the Law Society concerning the introduction of a fair disclosure pact with the Inland Revenue in tax avoidance cases;(2) what discussions he has had with representatives of the legal profession concerning the duties of solicitors and members of the Bar in cases of

(a) tax avoidance, (b) tax evasion and (c) cases where the Inland Revenue seeks to discover documents to assess the difference between avoidance and evasion.

None. The Inland Revenue has statutory powers to require persons, including members of the legal profession to provide information in specified circumstances, where it is relevant to a taxpayer's affairs, except where the position is covered by privilege. In addition, the legal profession has codes of conduct which prevent members assisting clients in any unlawful activity, whether concerned with tax or otherwise.