PIN system aims to beat hoax agents.

Link:Don’t fax us – we’ll find you

The news follows complaints over the refusal of local tax offices to accept faxed copies of the 64-8 form.

A letter seen by Accountancy Age, and signed by paymaster general Dawn Primarolo, states: ‘This (unique code numbers) is something that we are considering and would be helpful in identifying enquiries from legitimate agents.’

The letter outlined the problems local Revenue offices face in dealing with hoax agents. ‘There have been a number of instances recently of callers phoning Inland Revenue offices falsely claiming to be newly appointed agents acting for taxpayers and requesting details about their affairs,’ said the letter.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, said the idea could work in principle, but did sound a warning note. ‘It could add to bureaucracy.For example, Revenue authorities could be unwilling to work with tax agents that didn’t have a PIN number, even if they were legitimate,’ he said.

‘If it created another tier of red tape then we wouldn’t be happy with it.’

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