CIOT warns HMRC on “short-sighted” tax form overhaul

The CIoT has raised concerns about HMRC’s plan to stop issuing copies of some
client mail to advisers.

taxman announced the move as part of its drive to cut costs,
but tax experts
at the Institute believe it will result in far more additional work for HMRC,
taxpayers and their advisers.

It would also potentially lead to additional costs in excess of the amounts
saved, the CIoT warned.

CIOT Deputy President Anthony Thomas said:

“This is a seriously short-sighted move from the Revenue.

“By keeping tax agents less well-informed about their clients’ tax
obligations, HMRC are likely to find they lose more money than they save.”

HMRC estimated withdrawing copies of PAYE coding notices (P2s) and tax
calculations (P800s) will save them £1.25m.

But Thomas warned the taxman has not considered the cost of dealing with an
increased number of enquiries from agents, or sorting out the higher number of
incorrect tax returns which is likely to result.

“It is particularly disappointing that this change is being sprung on
taxpayers and their agents with more or less immediate effect and without
consultation,” Thomas said.

“We are calling on HMRC to reverse this short-sighted decision or at least
halt it for proper consultation.”

HMRC said on its website:

“Government departments are looking critically at measures to reduce spending
and save on costs. HM Revenue & Customs is no exception to this and expects
to face significant financial challenges over the coming years.”

“In anticipation of these challenges HMRC has reviewed the forms it sends to
tax agents and advisers. HMRC have decided that some of them will no longer be
issued and the issue of some others will be suspended meantime and reviewed

“HMRC is sorry if these changes are unwelcome but has tried to look for sa
vings in areas where there will be minimal impact on customers.”

Further reading:

times set to continue, admits HMRC boss

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