ABOUT THE TAX AGENT STRATEGY
The Tax Agent Strategy aims to transform the relationship between HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and agents by:
- gaining a better understanding of agents and their clients to help HMRC target the right services and communications
- aligning HMRC and agent processes where possible and enabling agents to carry out more transactions for themselves with minimal HMRC involvement
- eliminating duplication and reworking - making it easier for agents to do business with HMRC and reducing costs
- supporting agents in improving services for their clients including tackling the small minority of agents with poor performance more effectively
- working closely with the agent representative bodies on the development of 'Agent and Client Statistics' - previously referred to as 'agent view' - and through further consultation
- making sure that any new systems are joined up, user tested and will benefit agents and HMRC
Following the consultation published in 2011, HMRC had intended to publish a further consultation in summer 2013 to ask for views on the next steps for the Tax Agent Strategy. HMRC have now decided that they can make progress without the need for another formal consultation. HMRC is working with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to develop digital services for agents and they will continue to consult with agents' representative bodies through the Joint Tax Agent Strategy Steering (JTASS) Group and the Agent Strategy Group.
AGENT STRATEGY GROUP
AIA is a member of the Agent Strategy Group, which runs in parallel to JTASS, and discusses and advises on the Tax Agent Strategy and associated change programmes.
THE AGENT STRATEGY PROGRAMME
The Tax Agent Strategy sets the direction for the future HMRC and agent relationship. The Agent Strategy Programme has been set up to take this work forward.
NEW ONLINE SERVICES FOR AGENTS
As part of the programme, HMRC will introduce new online services by March 2015 to help you take more control of your clients' tax affairs. These services will include the introduction of a single, secure process for agents to register with HMRC and obtain a Unique Agent Reference, and a new streamlined agent authorisation process.
HMRC 'AGENT & CLIENT STATISTICS'
HMRC's 'Agent and Client Statistics' will bring together and analyse information held on the department's systems about agents and their clients' filing, payment and compliance history. The aim is for HMRC to work with agents to help them improve their clients' compliance and to identify what good agent practice looks like and how it can be shared.