Professional Quality – A Profession Under Review

HMRC has published a call for evidence into ‘Raising Standards in the Tax Advice Market’ on 19 March 20 – Why?

In brief, off the back of the Disguised Remuneration Loan Charge review in December 2019 (not discussed here), the Government wants a closer look at the tax advisory profession because from where they stand, they see that ‘the profession is not working as well as it should be’. They believe that ‘some advisers are incompetent, some unprofessional, a few actively corrupt’ – they are not pulling their punches.

Individuals who obtain professional qualifications through extensive study and maintain their qualification by adhering to professional standards may, for example, identify as a Chartered Accountant or a Chartered Tax Advisor. There is however no requirement for an advisor to hold a relevant professional qualification to offer advice to clients – a scary thought I know.

The consultation is not targeting one group or another. It is seeking to strengthen the process in how advice is given, the creditability that may be placed upon it, and if the advice is poor, the accountability of the adviser.

Any change which raises standards in the profession, ensuring accountability of those providing advice is very welcome by us. Lewis Brownlee does not and never has promoted or engaged with users or promoters of tax avoidance schemes, nor do we seek to push the ‘tax envelope’ to the client’s detriment.

The advice we provide is carefully designed to ensure it is in our client’s best interests both in terms of ensuring the minimum amount of tax has to be paid in accordance with a reasonable interpretation of the UK laws, whilst also trying to ensure we do not increase the chances of triggering a tax investigation or getting involved in a dispute with the taxman.

We are not concerned by the outcome of the Government’s consultation and the resultant changes it will bring, but instead looking forward to the increased credibility it will bring to our client offering. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

If you want an established accountancy practice to guide you through the regulatory complexities, implement sound tax planning strategies, feel free to get in touch with us.

You can call us on 01243 782 423 or head to our contact page.