HMRC: the standard for agents

08 January 2018

HMRC expects high standards that promote tax compliance from anyone who offers to represent or give advice to taxpayers. The HMRC Standards has been updated and incorporates new requirements for providing advice on tax planning.

HMRC recognises that many tax agents and advisers are meeting the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) set by the largest professional bodies. Alongside this, the HMRC standard for agents ensures a minimum standard has been set for all agents and in particular, those that are unaffiliated to any professional body.

Three of the five fundamental principles in PCRT are repeated in HMRC’s standard. These are:

  • Integrity

  • Professional competence

  • Due care and professional behaviour

HMRC maintain that these principles are essential to the relationship between agents and HMRC.

The two principles not included, are objectivity and confidentiality. These principles are fundamental to the agent-client relationship and it is the responsibility of the client to ensure they enter into contracts with agents covering these.

Read the updated version of HMRC Standards.