Here is an extract from the Taxpayers' Charter (remember that?):
“We’ll respect your wish to have someone else deal with us on your behalf, such as an accountant or a relative. To protect your privacy, we’ll only deal with them if they have been authorised to represent you, and we’ll deal with them courteously and professionally.”All clear and straightforward, yes?
Unfortunately no longer, for you see HMRC is changing the rules of engagement.
AccountingWeb reports, as from 1 May agents who ring HMRC to ask for the pay and tax details of a client will no longer be given that information, even if they are authorised to act. HMRC will instead send the information in a letter to the taxpayer, at his last known address, but they won’t send a copy of this letter to the agent.
HMRC says this change is to reduce call handling costs and to increase security for taxpayers.
All very fine and dandy, except that it breaches the Charter and is clearly designed to stop agents acting on behalf of their clients.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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