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Letting a new accountant know of HMRC issues

A former client has appointed a new adviser - is it right to disclose HMRC dealings?

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A former client has found a new accountant, who has in turn written to me earlier in the week asking for the usual hand-over information and so on.

The client had a lot of outstanding issues with HMRC, but was not the most responsive in dealing with them and as such they compounded during my time within the engagement.

Would you disclose that there are outstanding points with HMRC to the new adviser, or is it really not for you to say? Common sense tells me yes, but in a way that is not defamatory.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
19th Dec 2019 10:46

Surely that's in the "any ongoing issues with HMRC" question.

Just be matter of fact, "HMRC wrote to us on XXX, we asked Mr X on the ZZZ, we wait their reply"

Don't put any emotion into it, times and dates only!

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By dfens
19th Dec 2019 13:32

Interestingly, no such question came from the accountant! I'd usually ask this, but only in its absence did I wonder whether I should actually disclose. This makes sense, thank you.

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By CptCave
19th Dec 2019 11:38

Write back advising any outstanding issues in a paragraph or two along with the usual bumpf, should cover you.

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Replying to CptCave:
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By dfens
19th Dec 2019 13:32

Thanks so much, I think I'll do this.

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By John R
19th Dec 2019 13:29

I would certainly provide details of all outstanding matters whether or not specifically requested. You must, of course, get the client's authority to disclose first.

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Replying to John R:
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By dfens
19th Dec 2019 13:34

Thank you - so I would ask my ex-client whether I should disclose to their new accountant matters concerning about HMRC? I suspect they won't respond to me (one of the issues with the previous client - very slow to reply.....)

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Replying to dfens:
Accountants & Tax Advisors
By Gladstone
19th Dec 2019 13:48

Well, if your ex-client doesn't respond (authorise), you shouldn't respond to the new accountant. For any further reminders from the new accountant, I would politely inform that you don't have the authority to disclose anything etc.

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Replying to dfens:
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By JDBENJAMIN
19th Dec 2019 15:10

You should not ask the client whether or not you can disclose any specific thing. You should simply ask for permission to disclose any information the incoming accountant requests or you consider relevant. Having obtained that permission, then of course you should disclose HMRC matters. I don't know why you're even thinking about not doing so.

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Replying to JDBENJAMIN:
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By dfens
19th Dec 2019 15:35

Thanks all - I have asked the ex client for such permission, but couldn't help but wonder the fact their new accountant has been provided my email address must be an indication they are willing, but nonetheless I do appreciate it is important to confirm it's legitimate.

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By Accountant A
19th Dec 2019 17:08

Just write and say that a package containing full details of outstanding issues will be delivered shortly by ParcelForce. That should give the new accountant a clue.

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