HMRC publishes response to the raising standards in the tax advice market consultation

16 November 2020

HMRC has published its response to the consultation that sought to raise standards in the tax advice market, and has outlined four key steps that it will take to ensure that this happens.

The four main areas of focus are to be:

  • Raising awareness of HMRC’s standard for agents, whilst also reviewing its enforcement - HMRC intends to raise awareness of the standard, so that more people can access and review it. It will also publish the results of an internal review of the powers that HMRC has to help to enforce the standard
  • Consulting on making it mandatory for tax advisers to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) – This would result in higher standards and remove high-risk advisers, who may not be able to obtain insurance. There will also be further consideration given to a more formalised definition of tax advice, and what activities it should be applied to
  • Working with professional bodies – There will be continued work carried out alongside adviser professional bodies to assess how they support their members and to raise standards in the tax advice market
  • Working on the cost of tax repayment agents – There are concerns around how much it costs taxpayers to receive advice and the Government will be reviewing how best to tackle this

HMRC has also confirmed that it will continue to work with professional bodies in order to raise standards in this space, to ensure that taxpayers can make cognizant decisions prior to receiving tax advice. This involves providing the reassurance that the guidance they receive is professional and trustworthy.

There were 83 written responses submitted to the Government – 24 of which came from professional bodies, and 18 from accountancy firms.


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