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HMRC amend cost saving document changes

HMRC amend cost saving document changes

HMRC has decided to rethink its policy of just sending documents to taxpayers and not their agents. The new policy, which was introduced in September, was designed as a cost saving measure.

However, the Revenue has backtracked slightly and said that some documents will also be sent to tax advisers and contractor accountants.

The decision has been welcomed but the CIOT, but the Institute remains concerned that this change will not include all tax documents.

The CIOT’s deputy president, Anthony Thomas, said that we all know government departments are under pressure to cut costs but HMRC is likely to face more queries and adjustments by keeping agents in the dark about the tax obligations of their clients. This action could end up costing the government more than it saves.

The documents that will be sent to agents include Tax Calculation P800, Entry to Self-Assessment letter SA250 and Exit from Self-Assessment letter SA251.

Agents will not receive copies of their clients’ P2 PAYE Coding Notices but the form the taxpayer receives will advise him to show it to a tax agent or adviser.

HMRC plans to use some of the money saved from the withdrawal of P2 agent copies to create an IT solution allowing e-enabled tax agents to see the P2s of their Self-Assessment clients online.

Meanwhile, members of ICAEW have said the standard of service provided by the Revenue is still declining. 70% of members said they needed to contact HMRC more than once to resolve a single enquiry and 61% said the technical knowledge of many of the Revenue’s employees leaves much to be desired.

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Image: Letters from Friends by D Sharon Pruitt

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