UHY Hacker Young is alarmed taxpayers
could be fined for innocent mistakes on their returns despite promises from HM
Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that they would not be penalised if they took
‘reasonable care’ when completing their returns.
Simon Newark, the firm’s VAT partner, claims HMRC defines reasonable care as
taking advice from a tax professional, which would exclude the majority of high
street accountants, the main source of advice and help.
An approach to HMRC by The Daily Telegraph on the definition for a
tax professional prompted the reply: ‘We cannot and do not specify that an
adviser should have certain qualifications. That is for the taxpayer to consider
when choosing who to seek advice from.’
Newark said it was worrying that HMRC was not willing to provide a clear
definition. ‘The ‘reasonable care’ clause was clearly not given proper
consideration and is causing much confusion rather than making things easier,’
he told The Daily Telegraph.
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