TaxAdministration‘Condoc’ sets off alarm bells

‘Condoc’ sets off alarm bells

Very, very late on Budget day, the taxman finally got back to us over our story of advisers’ concerns about the consultation document on working with the tax profession which proposed fines for non-compliant tax advisers

kevin reed, features editor, AccountancyAge

‘This is not about introducing regulation through the back door,’ we squeezed
into the article at the last minute.

But advisers are really worried that Working with Tax Agents is a ‘condoc’
(as many in the profession like to call them) that tightens the grip the taxman
could have on their collective collars.

I then noted with great interest the next section of HMRC’s quote that didn’t
make it in the paper: ‘There may be advantages to regulation. We will be
listening to others’ views.’

And there you have it.

While the CIoT and a select few gave a cautious welcome to the document,
fears that the taxman is layering more regulation on the profession seem
justified.

HMRC talks about weeding out the poor advisers, qualified or otherwise. A
decent sentiment supported by the good’uns.

But when members of the profession not known for hyperbole talk about
‘regulation by the back door’ and ‘swapping bicycle clips for jack boots’, alarm
bells ring.

There has so far been little noise from the CCAB institutes, who one can only
imagine must be indignant at HMRC’s effort to step in as regulator.

Of course, the proposals are still in consultation (until 7 August), and
that’s something.

But note HMRC’s own words carefully as you scour those 43 pages, and bear in
mind the taxman’s increasing powerbase through statute since the tax
departments’ merger.

If you’re not careful, you could find yourself with another boss to answer
to. And that’s a very uncomfortable place to be.

Kevin Reed is the features editor of Accountancy
Age

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