Working with agents - Reports to professional bodies

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Rebecca Benneyworth Training Consultants
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This article looks in detail at the proposals for reporting members of professional bodies to their body, and highlights the issues involved. There was broad agreement in the first consultation that HMRC should use this power more effectively, so the principle seems to have been accepted.

The law

The tax authority has a statutory authority to lawfully disclose information to a body regulating a profession, in relation to misconduct on the part of a member which relates to an HMRC function. The legislation is in Section 20(3) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (CRCA); in more detail, section 20 sets out powers for public interest disclosures. Information may lawfully be disclosed when

  • The disclosure is instructed by the Commissioners (either in gener...

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Should HMRC have the power to report to professional bodies?

Broadly speaking I do agree with the suggestion above, but on the basis that HMRC should have thorough consultation with those bodies (and therefore their members) in determining what constitutes a "reportable" occurance.

Due to the fact that some things are more serious than others, my proposal would be to have some kind of agreed points tariff system whereby "reportable occurances" can be graded and that, similiar to driving offences, when a determined number of points is acheived then a report will be made to the relevant body.

This opinion does not seek to determine what the penalty would then be and that is the subject of a further discussion.

The above suggestion obviously does not work where someone is working outside of a professional body, but it's food for thought.

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