Joint Tax Agent Strategy Steering Group

An HMRC-sponsored group, the Joint Tax Agent Strategy Steering Group (JTASSG) is a forum through which the tax agent community can steer the development of HMRC's Agent Strategy and the associated change programme over the Spending Review period 2011 to 2015.

Membership

Current Members Organisation
Rebecca Benneyworth ICAEW
Frank Haskew ICAEW
Chas Roy Chowdhury ACCA
Brian Palmer AAT
Adam Harper AAT
Patrick Stevens CIOT
Stuart McKinnon ATT
Elspeth Orcharton ICAS
Brian Keegan CAI

HMRC Representatives

Name Role Deputy
Theresa Middleton Director, Business Customer & Strategy and programme SRO Jenny Cowles
Ruth Bulteel Senior Business Owner for Agent Strategy Chris Walker
Andrew Gordon Senior Business Owner for unpaid intermediaries Jenny Dyson/ Angela Measures
Jo Penny Agent Strategy Programme Director Ian Heron
Ian Heron Agent Strategy Programme Manager None
Connie Kirk Agent Strategy & Engagement Team and secretariat None

Terms of Reference

Context

HMRC’s Agent Strategy was developed in consultation with the main professional bodies representing tax agents in the UK. It recognises the key role that tax agents play in the administration of the UK tax system, by helping individual and business clients to understand and comply with their tax obligations. The strategy aims to reduce costs for all parties, improve customer compliance and improve agents’ experience of dealing with HMRC, while ensuring that agreed minimum standards of conduct and behaviour are applied within the tax agent profession in the UK.

HMRC wishes to continue working jointly with agents both to ensure that the strategy remains up to date and to agree on the scope, pace and implementation of the change programme. HMRC will additionally seek feedback on these issues through separate discussions with paid tax agents who are not represented by the professional bodies on the JTASS Group; and with unpaid tax agent organisations in the Voluntary and Community Sector.

Purpose and Scope

The JTASS Group has two main roles:

a) To help shape the future development of HMRC’s Agent Strategy and the relationship between HMRC and the tax agent profession in the UK. It will do this by:

  • Developing the business case for future delivery of additional services that would enable agents to interact directly with HMRC systems on behalf of their clients without the need for processing by or contact with HMRC.
  • Identifying new opportunities for agents to support HMRC in improving taxpayer/client compliance.
  • Designing a model for the future oversight of the tax agent profession within the UK.

b) To support the implementation of the Agent Strategy Programme in delivering the foundations for future agent services. It will do this by:

  • Providing advice and customer insight on the speed and sequencing of agreed changes affecting the agent community.
  • Providing oversight of the design, testing and roll-out of new services, processes and infrastructure.
  • Initiating, approving and delivering external communications about the strategy and associated changes affecting agents.

Membership

The group comprises:

  • Senior representatives of the main professional bodies involved in tax (see annex for current membership list)
  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS)

Senior stakeholders from HMRC (see annex for current membership list)

  • Chief Executive
  • Senior Responsible Owner for the Agent Strategy Programme (who will chair meetings of the group)
  • Senior Business Owner for the Agent Strategy
  • Senior Business Owner for unpaid intermediaries
  • Agent Strategy Programme Director

Secretariat (provided by HMRC) Specialist support and other interested parties and observers as required

Meetings

A schedule of meetings will be agreed every 6 months. Meetings will usually last no more than 2 hours and will be hosted in HMRC offices or via telephone conference if this is business efficient. Members from the agent professional bodies will be offered the opportunity to meet without HMRC either before or after each scheduled meeting of the full group.

A draft meeting agenda will be issued to the HMRC team and the main representatives of the professional bodies via secure electronic means no less than two weeks before each meeting. The finalised agenda and supporting papers will be issued via secure electronic means no less than one week before the meeting. The finalised agenda and papers will be copied to nominated deputies where these have been advised to the secretariat.

A draft meeting note will be issued for comment to all those who attended the meeting within two weeks after each meeting. Once agreed, meeting notes will be published on the HMRC website. Both the draft and final versions of the meeting note will be copied for information to any members of the HMRC team and the main representatives of the professional bodies who were unable to attend the meeting and to nominated deputies.

Annual Review

These terms of reference will be reviewed annually to ensure that the purpose, scope and membership of the group remain appropriate.

Meeting Minutes

Meeting frequency - every two months.

Minutes 6 December 2013

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MInutes 2 October 2013

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Minutes 29 July 2013

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Minutes 20 May 2013

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Please see the National Archives website for previous minutes.

Contact details

connie.kirk@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk