Professional bodies update guidance for tax advisers

The leading UK professional bodies involved in taxation have issued updated guidance on how tax advisers should act in difficult situations.

The guidance appears in the publication 'Professional Conduct in relation to Taxation', which has been issued by the bodies today. It concerns the tripartite relationship between the taxpayer, the tax adviser and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It sets out the standards to be followed by members of the professional bodies when dealing with HMRC in connection with a client's tax affairs.

Rosalind Upton, chair of the working party which produced the guidance, and also chair of the Joint Professional Standards Committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians, said:

"We believe the new ‘Professional Conduct in relation to Taxation’ 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 guidance has been reviewed by Ximena Montes Manzano of Atlas Chambers and also by HMRC.

Notes for editors

1) The guidance can be read here

2) The professional bodies who were members of the working party and who have endorsed the guidance are:

  • The Chartered Institute of Taxation;
  • The Association of Taxation Technicians;
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales;
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland;
  • The Institute of Indirect Taxation; and
  • The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
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