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Tony Talks : HMRC plans Regulation of Agents by the Back Door

11th May 2015
Senior Consultant ICPA Ltd
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In his latest video blog Tony looks at radical new HMRC proposals to introduce DAS which is Differentiated Agent Services whereby some agents will be granted greater powers and have more access to services than other agents with those being granted the greatest level of powers being told that their clients will receive a "lighter touch" from HMRC! Added to this radical change HMRC are also looking to draw up a Code of Practice all whilst insisting that they are NOT looking to regulate Agents.

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By carolelmcarre
13th Nov 2015 18:20

Isn't this just a way of....
I don't know if I am just an old cynic, but hey. HMRC currently provide an exceedingly poor service to the majority of tax payers and agents, as evidenced by the huge difficulties in getting any sensible and timely response to queries, the inflexible and useless telephone lines, the dumbed down .gov website, and the amount of time and effort required to get any information other than the Janet and John approach contained in their fact sheets. (This may seem harsh, but my typical experience is a 50 minute wait, being advised at frequent intervals that there are answers to most questions on the .gov website, and then when I finally do speak to a real advisor, being referred to an idiots guide fact sheet, which of course is where I started!)

Anyway, what are HMRC to do? They need to save money, they need to get more tax in, and they can't cope with what they already do. For years HMRC have not lived in the real world. A recent conversation with an ex HMRC 'old school' employee revealed that she was horrified that the staff were proud that only 20 per cent of their assessments were incorrect.

So - what a great idea. Shut down a number of centres, reducing staffing levels considerably, but then reduce the need by getting others to do the work for them. Create a super class of agents, if possible by marketing this as something to train to achieve - and they don't have to do the work any more. The super and good agents can do the work presumably with little or no challenge by HMRC and they can concentrate their resources on those agents perceived to be more risky.

I have two words for this transparent attempt to transfer the workload and training requirement, and I can't write them here, anyone else agree?

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