Tag Archive | "tax agent"

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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Christopher Lunn & Co loses tax agent status again

East Sussex accountancy firm, Christopher Lunn & Co, has again had its tax agent status removed by HMRC.

This is the second time CLAC has had its status removed because of perceived irregularities. Last November, HMRC officials raided CLAC’s offices and its agency status was removed. However, in February a judicial review found that CLAC was not allowed to answer the Revenue’s claims and its status was reinstated.

The Revenue has now taken representations from CLAC and last week it announced that, with immediate effect, it will no longer be dealing with the contractor accountancy firm.

Dave Hartnett, the permanent secretary for tax, said this situation only occurs in exceptional circumstances where the department believes there could be serious irregularities in accounts and tax returns.

The president of the CIoT, Anthony Thomas, stressed that there needs to be independent oversight into the powers of HMRC when it comes to tax agents’ status. This will be even more important if the proposed system of enrolment comes into force, as this will inevitably lead to disenrollment of some tax agents. He added that a clear, agreed procedure needs to be drawn up so that everyone knows where they stand in situations like this.

Christopher Lunn claims that HMRC has once again acted wrongly and improperly. The firm issued a statement in which it said the Revenue had notified its lawyers that it would no longer be dealing with the accountancy firm as a tax agent. CLAC believes this action is wrong and will be demanding an explanation for their conduct.

© 2011 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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