It replaces the factsheet of the same name issued in February 2014.
As stated in the factsheet, the guidance applies to all members undertaking any tax work, whether on an employed, self-employed, personal or voluntary basis. Paragraph 1.11 states: ‘Whilst the content of this guidance is primarily applicable to members in professional practice, the principles apply to all members who practise in tax including:
employees attending to the tax affairs of their employer or of a client
those dealing with the tax affairs of themselves or others such as family, friends, charities etc whether or not for payment
those working in HMRC or other public sector bodies or government departments.
It has new material on electronic filing, decisions of courts and tribunals, DOTAS, POTAS, accelerated payments and follower notices, as well as an expanded chapter on tax planning.
The factsheet includes further commentary to reflect the ongoing developments and the public concern about aggressive tax avoidance and evasion. This update does not include any specific changes following the paper published by HM Treasury and HMRC on 19 March 2015 Tackling tax evasion and avoidance. This paper asked ‘the regulatory bodies who police professional standards to take on a greater lead and responsibility in setting and enforcing clear professional standards around the facilitation and promotion of avoidance’.
ACCA, along with other professional bodies, has stated that ‘the professional bodies will hold further discussions with HM Treasury and HMRC about how this challenge should be progressed. This [factsheet] is being issued in the meantime as it contains extensive new material of practical benefit to members.’
The section dealing with tax errors entitled ‘irregularity’ in part 3 section 5 takes members through the steps to take. It uses a flowchart with paragraph references and contains guidance as to appropriateness of continuing to act. As stated this applies to all members and the section contains references to anti-money laundering requirements, some of which apply to members with businesses falling under these regulations.
Part 3 section 6 ‘Access to data by HMRC’ takes members through the options. It starts with informal requests, where the advice states that ‘disclosure in response to informal requests not made under any statutory power to demand data can only be made with the client’s permission’, then discusses commonly issued notices under Schedule 36 FA 2008 and concludes with statutory requests made on a member. It also considers legal professional privilege.