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Concerns from contractor accountants over tax agent strategy

Concerns from contractor accountants over tax agent strategy

The Chartered Institute of Taxation says there are a significant number of issues that need to be addressed before HMRC can implement the tax agent strategy.

The Revenue recently published proposals that would allow authorised tax agents, including some online accountants, to use a self serve system allowing them greater access to its systems. Under the scheme, advisors that had already enrolled would be able to amend PAYE codings and change addresses themselves.

Whilst the initiative has been welcomed by many in the profession, the CIoT and the ATT have said that there needs to be an independent body overseeing the disenrollment and suspension of advisors. Around 1,500 members of the CIoT contributed their views and they highlighted concerns over data security and the additional burden a self serve system could put on the advisors.

The president of the ATT, Andrew Meeson, said there needs to be further clarification over who will be able to access self-serve. A lot of people feel that unrepresented individuals should have some access. We also need to receive some reassurance about data security within the Revenue’s systems if all agents have access. Professional agents will not want to take part in the system until these issues are resolved, he added.

Anthony Thomas, the CIoT’s president, went further saying tax advisors are not going to be interested in self-serve if it forms part of an unpalatable package which will cause problems later.

The closing date for responses to HMRC’s consultation on the tax agent strategy is September 16th.

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Image: Concern by quinn.anya

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