Working with Tax Agents: Dishonest Conduct - CIOT comments
The CIOT comments, sent to HMRC on 5 September 2011, regarding the discussion document on revised draft legislation which seeks to enable HMRC to tackle tax agents who act dishonestly in tax matters.
As many will be aware, HMRC have spent considerable time rethinking their proposals for ‘Working with Tax Agents’ (aka Deliberate Wrongdoing). CIOT and many other bodies strongly criticised the original approach and the wording of the draft legislation that was issued almost 18 months ago. HMRC have now issued revised proposals, together with a summary of responses. It seems that they have taken many of our criticisms on board and we have already said that HMRC deserve credit for listening and acting. At first sight, these revised proposals seem much better, though we have already repeated our previous reservations of ‘Is this really needed?’ coupled with ‘Shouldn’t this be taken forward as part of the new Tax Agent Strategy?’.
The main questions raised by HMRC in the consultation are:
- Question 1: HMRC welcomes views on the revised definition of a tax agent.
- Question 2: HMRC welcomes views on moving away from the terminology of 'deliberate
wrongdoing' to 'dishonest conduct'.
- Question 3: HMRC welcomes views on the revised definition of 'loss of tax'.
- Question 4: HMRC welcomes views on any issues about moving to a 'not exceeding'
penalty, including the level of the penalty.
5 September 2011