Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HMRC hires retired tax advisers

Now that's going to come as a shock to a few people. It was included in that report from Reuters to which I referred in my tax blog post yesterday.

I've long been aware that HMRC employ accountants to assist with the accounting issues that arise when Inspectors are reviewing business and company accounts. Indeed when an accountant in practice tells me that a Revenue official has made an ill informed comment about a client's accounts I suggest that the accountant asks for the matter to be referred to a revenue accountant. One of the roles is specifically to help their colleagues and to reduce the time wasted on 'non points'.

But - 'retired tax advisers'? Now that could put the cat among the pigeons. You shouldn't have anything to worry about of course as long as you have nothing to hide.

I suspect that initially the 'retired tax advisers' will be expected to provide insights and advice in connection with large corporates and corporation tax issues. Will they also suggest questions, challenges and arguments to adopt in negotiations with accountants who advise 'smaller clients'? We'll have to just wait and see.

Perhaps this is a further prompt of what to do when tempted to advice on tax related issues with which you're not totally familiar. You could try a bit of research. You could ask a mate. Or you could speak to an independent tax specialist adviser. And where better to find one than in the Tax Advice Network? ;-)

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