AAT slams NAO adviser report

Tax chiefs have become the latest to voice concerns
the NAO’s ‘Engaging with tax agents’ report,
which highlighted
cases of under-declared tax when advisers help out clients fill in
self-assessment forms.

The Association of Accounting Technicians was unhappy with the focus on
under-declared tax, a situation which “would appear to undermine the progress
that HMRC has achieved so far in developing its relationship with tax agents”,
the association said.

AAT former president and representative on the HMRC “Working Together”
steering group, Brian Palmer, said: “On balance there are many positive
recommendations contained within the report, particularly with regard to the
suggested improvements as to how HMRC can be more effective in its information
management to further enhance its service provision to the tax agent community.

“However, the survey is based on data more than five years old, and the
report clearly states that further analysis is required, let alone the fact that
it also didn’t take into account the represented taxpayers that had net
over-declarations of tax.

“By focussing on this particular aspect of the report we are of the view that
the NAO has missed a real opportunity to highlight the positive scope that
exists for the tax agent community to engage with HMRC to improve the situation.

Further reading:

advisers and the NAO: What the papers say

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