HMRC removes Lunn agency status again

THE TAXMAN has said that it is refusing to deal with the Christopher Lunn & Co (CLAC) accountancy firm because of perceived irregularities.

HM Revenue & Customs had initially refused to deal with the firm in November 2010 following a raid on CLAC’s East Sussex offices. However, a judicial review in February found that HMRC had failed to allow CLAC to make any representations before removing its agency status.

Since the decision, HMRC has taken representations from the firm and it today announced its decision to stop dealing with CLAC for a second time. The decision takes immediate effect.

Permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett (pictured) said: “HMRC decides to stop dealing with tax agents only in exceptional circumstances where we have reason to believe there may be serious irregularities in tax returns and accounts.”

CIOT president Anthony Thomas said that the case highlighted the need for independent oversight of HMRC’s powers to remove agent status.”This will become even more urgent if HMRC brings in a system of enrolment, and inevitably disenrolment, of tax agents, as envisaged in its current consultation,” he said.

“There needs to be a clear and agreed procedure for dealing with situations like this so that all sides know where they stand,” Thomas added.

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