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HMRC raising standards -professional indemnity.

Another HMRC consultation paper

Didn't find your answer?

An e-mail with the link below has just pinged into my inbox.  Any thoughts?

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/raising-standards-in-the-tax...

Any proposal made by HMRC usually become practice once the consultation period has ended.  A nice earner for the insurers.

 

Replies (18)

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Scooby
By gainsborough
21st Apr 2021 19:19

I have only read page 18 and Annexe B but I do see this as being a good thing for clients who are with accountants or advisers who have no PII.

I imagine most decent advisers have this in place already, whether they are qualified or not, so this will just catch the ones who don't have PII but really should.

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By DaveyJonesLocker
21st Apr 2021 19:25

No issue with this. My MLR is via HMRC and to me it should be a condition I have to enter my PII policy number.

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Replying to DaveyJonesLocker:
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By memyself-eye
21st Apr 2021 20:08

PII?

you need is a 'D' after that..

me? I'm with Magnum PI......
(not the ice cream - Tom Sellick)

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Replying to memyself-eye:
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By DaveyJonesLocker
21st Apr 2021 20:20

He still has the same moustache now in Blue Bloods!

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Replying to DaveyJonesLocker:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
22nd Apr 2021 12:18

Wouldn't like his hair dye bill

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Replying to memyself-eye:
Maytuna
By DJKL
21st Apr 2021 22:46

Tom Sellick, one of the Bhoys, presume his favourite band is the Wolfe Tones?

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By More unearned luck
21st Apr 2021 20:03

If HMRC's proposals in consultation documents do come to pass, it is after they become law, usually in a Finance Act. Not (straight) after the consultation period as ended.

This particular proposal is being sold on consumer protection grounds. Its not HMRC's job to champion consumer protection. If that is their true motive then this consultation is ultra vires and HMRC should withdraw it. If it's not their true motive (ie they are trying to make life easier for themselves by getting rid of rubbish from rubbish agents) then HMRC should be condemned for fibbing. HMRC expects, quite rightly, taxpayers to be honest. They should return the same favour. It was lack of HMRC honesty that got the loan charge onto the statute book.

My problem with this reasonable sounding proposal is that it is the thin edge of wedge. What next? HMRC already have the right to grass qualified agents to their professional body. Will HMRC want an enhanced right to say someone can't be an agent? How will the profession be able to stand up to HMRC on behalf of clients if there is the fear in the back of minds that the right to act can be withdrawn easily by HMRC?

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By Calculatorboy
21st Apr 2021 21:30

Long overdue protection for the client

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By mbee1
22nd Apr 2021 08:50

I've no problem with it. What I do have a problem with is HRC are keen to raise standards in the profession but what about their standards?

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Replying to mbee1:
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By vinylnobbynobbs
22nd Apr 2021 10:38

mbee1 wrote:

I've no problem with it. What I do have a problem with is HRC are keen to raise standards in the profession but what about their standards?

I agree

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By justsotax
22nd Apr 2021 09:19

'HMRC raising standards'

Maybe I have missed the point but....(1) not sure HMRC are the best people to lead on a matter such as improving standards...(2) Paying for insurance doesn't improve someone's ability (or lack of)....!?

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Replying to justsotax:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
22nd Apr 2021 11:03

Definitely HMRC should not be the body improving standards (apart from within itself of course)

But insurance is about given the clients another route for compensation if their agent does something wrong. It does not seem unreasonable to insist on that as protection to consumers, any more than motor insurance being required to drive.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By justsotax
22nd Apr 2021 13:19

but it doesn't improve standards.....(didn't all of those tax scheme providers offer insurance.......?)

*well provide 'insurance'....

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Replying to justsotax:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
22nd Apr 2021 13:25

You're right that it isn't about improving the standard of work. It is bad for HMRC to have labelled it to read that way.

But it does improve the position of clients as long as insurance claims can be made if an adviser messes up. I don't know what sort of "insurance" tax scheme providers offered, so I can't really comment on that specific point. I am assuming from your post that claims to cover the losses from schemes falling apart were not possible though.

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By Hugo Fair
22nd Apr 2021 11:42

It's not the potential mandation of PI that's causing hackles to rise, it's the usual (and deliberate?) confusion of multiple issues within one area of consultation.

Leaving aside the quick win of pointing out that 'Raising Standards' should be the core objective of HMRC's own services ... notices about the consultation are being carefully 'positioned' (aka stage-managed) so as to present different messages to different stakeholders (oh how I hate that descriptor).
[I'm on multiple 'lists' so have 3 totally different sets of messages so far ... and await with interest whatever the next one brings].

The email referenced in OP says "This work derives from the Summary of responses and next steps published following our call for evidence, which suggested that the tax advice market needs intervention to enhance consumer protection and improve standards. As a first step, the government committed to consulting on introducing a requirement for all tax advisers to hold professional indemnity insurance. This consultation also welcomes views on the definition of tax advice, to help determine who will be covered by this requirement."

Even if you ignore phrases like "as a first step" and "the tax advice market needs intervention" (despite an admission that they need a "definition of tax advice") ... the punch-line is that the email emanates from the - Agent Reform Policy Team.

That's what it says on the tin - and is what's driving all the smoke & mirrors!

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By vinylnobbynobbs
22nd Apr 2021 12:11

As with all Revenue consultations, we know they have already decided what they intend to do irrespective of what comments or evidence is presented to them. It is lip service to

I suspect that it yet more Revenue control.

Perhaps we should text Boris?

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
22nd Apr 2021 12:20

Accountants in practice under the auspices of a professional body already have to hold PII and provide the policy number.

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By More unearned luck
22nd Apr 2021 15:54

I trust that all respondents to and readers of this question will also take the trouble to make their views, whatever they are, known to HMRC by responding to the condoc (it's easy you just send HMRC an email* - you don't have to answer every question asked in the condoc).

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/raising-standards-in-the-tax....

*to [email protected]

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