Profession braced for Panorama probe

Profession braced for Panorama probe

Investigative programme to look at carousel fraud this weekend, with some in the profession fearing government figures could again criticise advisers for their alleged role in helping support fraudsters.

The profession is braced for further revelations about the government’s view
on carousel fraud this weekend.

Panorama is set to air a special programme on the frauds on Sunday night,
with some worried that interviews with senior government officials will renew
criticisms of advisers.

HMRC chairman Sir David Varney wrote to the institutes and mid-tier firms
recently that ‘a small number of tax advisers mistakenly see MTIC as some form
of clever tax planning rather than a dishonest and criminal exploitation of the
tax system,’ a claim that has been angrily rejected by the profession.

An advert for the programme on its website says that it is to air a full
consideration of a scheme that is ‘easy to set up, hard to detect and extremely
lucrative.’

The programme will ask why the government has not done more to combat the
frauds, it goes on.

Senior HMRC figures are thought to have been interviewed for the programme,
and there is some anxiety that advisers will again be referenced as helping in
some respects to give fraudsters an air of authenticity.

The institutes have taken the view that if their members have broken their
rules, HMRC should pass on their details in order for them to pursue
disciplinary proceedings.

The Panorama programme airs at 10:15pm on Sunday night on BBC1. For more
details, go to the Panorama
website.

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