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HM Revenue & Customs is looking to develop a strategy for future engagement with tax agents. In a consultation paper, Establishing the future relationship between the tax agent community and HMRC, the introduction of a membership scheme has been suggested which would give tax agents the ability to update customer information online. However, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has expressed concern at what it calls ‘a carrot and stick’ approach.

Tax agents who enrol in the scheme will have access to HMRC tools, allowing them to be able to update their client’s tax code or amend a tax return for instance, using real time information that will be beneficial to all concerned. There are doubts regarding the possibility of being struck off the list while defending clients in court. A spokesman for CIOT, George Crozier said:

“But the system where you would have to enrol means you could be thrown off the list too. For example, for being highly incompetent. The consultation mentions a ‘tailored support service’ for tax agents but if you were sceptical of HMRC you would see that as monitoring agents performance.”

In view of the concerns expressed by CIOT, they are looking for independent monitoring of the scheme, with independent intervention before a tax agent is removed from the list.

The HMRC is also looking to develop a blacklist of tax avoidance schemes with a high tax risk, which would be categorised under disclosure schemes. Users of schemes on the list would have to declare their involvement, which could result in penalty charges on tax which is underpaid.

About The Author

Gary Fields

Content Writer working alongside our expert accountants to bring you the latest Tax and Accounting news.

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