One-third of tax advisers are not regulated by professional bodies

One in three tax advisers are not regulated by a professional body, according to research commissioned by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Most businesses use a tax agent to ensure they are compliant, but many of these agents are unregulated, not being members of professional bodies which have recognised professional codes of conduct.
There are more than 40,000 tax agent (accountants, bookkeepers and tax advisers) firms in the UK, and HMRC ordered an independent report into the industry.
The Government recommends that tax agents comply with the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT), which is written by the largest accountancy and tax professional bodies.
Two-thirds of tax agents are members of professional bodies, but the study highlighted concerns about the quality of tax work and protection for clients in unregulated environments.
Some respondents to the survey have called for stronger oversight and protection for clients, particularly where tax agents are operating without a regulatory body.
HMRC does not have regulatory powers over tax agents and does not currently scrutinise tax agents. Many of the responses called for HMRC to update their process on the supervision of agents who are not members of a professional body, with many tax professionals willing to work with HMRC on the issue.
It’s important to ensure that you use a tax specialist that will ensure your business is making informed decisions.
Particularly with Making Tax Digital and other tax reporting looking to go digital, it is pivotal that you get it right. For more information on tax, speak to one of our experts today.

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