Tax enrolment could breach human rights

THE PROPOSALS for tax advisor enrolment could breach of human rights if it is not carried out well, leading tax professionals have said.

The consultation document released this week proposes to allow certain advisors to access HM Revenue & Customs systems. This will enable them to notify HMRC that they will be representing a client without the need for signed consent and generate and amend coding notices among other tasks.

There are no concrete suggestions as to which advisors will be allowed to enrol on the system but the document does suggest that institute membership could be a factor.

However, Derek Allen, tax director at ICAS, said this “raises significant human rights issues”. He added it is likely that there will be a tiered approach to access, with the most “trusted” advisors being given access to the most services.

Anthony Thomas, president of Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “The CIoT recognises that there is a possible human rights issue around denying access to those already in practice but believes that it is in the interests of taxpayers and the tax authorities that all tax agents operate to the highest professional standards.

“This may mean full access is only given to qualified professionals.”

Meanwhile, ACCA head of tax Chas Roy-Chowdhury said this could signal a “once-in-a-generation shift”.

This document proves that “HMRC has been listening” to the tax profession, he added.

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