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HMRC Compliance toolkits - a novel approach

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30th Mar 2009
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HMRC has been quietly developing agent toolkits for optional use, and is now ready for volunteer agents to try them out before they are made available widely.

The idea behind the agent toolkits is that they identify the key risks of mis-statement in relation to a particular tax issue, and provide the agent with simple tools to allow them to address these risks on behalf of their client.

The first toolkit relates to a fairly minority area in terms of agent numbers - Capital gains tax for trusts. However, more toolkits are under development including risk tools for the following areas :

  • Marginal Small Company relief
  • Capital Allowances on plant and machinery
  • Capital Gains Tax on land and property
  • Personal and private expenditure and
  • Inheritance Tax.

By using the toolkits, which will be optional, agents will be able to satisfy themselves that the key risks which HMRC would want to address in any compliance check have already been addressed before the return is submitted, providing confidence that the return is correct. What this process allows for the future is for HMRC to rely in part on the work of the agent and to reduce the risk score for that client in respect of these aspects of the return. What it means now is that HMRC are willing to share their risk model in a limited way with agents.

Those with an interest in participating in limited trials can read more, and contact the project team here.

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Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
30th Mar 2009 18:56

AH but
I think this is going to be work that we already do in the course of putting the accounts together. Which means that by recording it we can reduce a client's risk of compliance check as his risk score reduces. (Added value for the professional adviser, good news for client and cash saving for HMRC - and therefore us as taxpayers)

I await developments with interest.

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By Malcolm Veall
30th Mar 2009 14:06

Shall we do all of their work?
While I wil be very interested in the content of these; and in adding them, where appropriate to my internal checklists - it is astonishing that HMRC want us to carry out their risk review - the logical next step is for IRIS etc to have to add this into the software so that the relevant ticks for "risk areas assessed" can be added to the returns.

Shall we then do both sides of the enquiry? That would mean HMRC would not need any staff at all.

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