HMRC PUBLISHES TAX MARKET CONSULTATION RESPONSE

Last updated: 17 Nov 2020 12:56 Posted in: AIA

HMRC has published an update on its recent call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advice market

The government has published a summary of responses received on the call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advice market.

Responses to the call for evidence showed that more needs to be done to raise professional standards of tax advisers.

In its response to the original call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advice market AIA called for greater legal protection for the professional titles ‘accountant’ and ‘tax agent’ and campaigned to highlight the benefits of using qualified accountants and tax agents, who are trained to a high standard in both ethical and professional conduct.

HMRC recognises that the majority of tax advisers are professional and play a critical role in helping customers meet their tax obligations. However, there is more to do to ensure taxpayers have access to good quality advice.

AIA will continue to argue that the government should work to promote the effectiveness of good agents by recognising that additional safeguards and public interest concerns are met by consumers undertaking the services of a regulated individual to conduct their tax affairs, with proper recourse to advice if things go wrong and an independent complaints system.

After considering the responses received to the call for evidence, the government plans to take the following steps to improve standards and trust in the tax advice market:

  1. Raise awareness of the Standard and review HMRC powers to enforce the Standard
  2. Consult on requirement for professional indemnity insurance
  3. Work collaboratively with Professional Bodies
  4. Tackle high costs to consumers of claiming tax refunds

HMRC has also published a series of ‘next steps’ alongside the summary of responses, which includes a consultation on the requirement for all tax advisers to possess appropriate levels of professional indemnity insurance. The consultation will also seek feedback on the definition of tax advice.

AIA will continue to work closely with HMRC to raise standards in the profession.

You can review the HMRC response here.

AIA called for greater legal protection for the professional titles ‘accountant’ and ‘tax agent’ and campaigned to highlight the benefits of using qualified accountants and tax agents