Tax advice standards streamlined by the profession

NEW GUIDANCE has been issued to direct tax advisers on how they should act in difficult situations.

The guidance, which has been endorsed by the UK’s professional tax bodies, is intended to be easier to use and is half the length of the previous code of conduct, which was published in 2004.

Standards are outlined for members to follow when dealing with HMRC in connection with clients’ tax affairs. Core principles include integrity, professional competence and due care and competence.

New information is provided on money laundering regulations, and flowcharts are included to help tax advisers deal with difficult situations, such as when a client refuses to correct a serious error in a tax return.

Rosalind Upton, chair of the working party that produced the guidance and chair of the Professional Standards Committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “We believe the new [guidance] gives clear, concise and practical guidance which will help tax advisers when dealing with difficult situations such as what to do when a client refuses to make a full disclosure to HMRC or receives an excessive repayment. It also includes information on other key areas including client confidentiality and when information must be supplied to HMRC and other authorities without client consent.”

The joint guidance was issued by the CIoT, ICAEW, ATT, ACCA, ICAS, the Institute of Indirect Taxation and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.


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