Working Together is a partnership between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and a wide range of main agent, and other representative bodies.
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Association of International Accountants (AIA)
- Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
- Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP)
- Certified Public Accountants Association (CPAA)
- International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)
- Independent Certified Practicing Accountants (ICPA)
- Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA)
- Society of Professional Accountants (SPA)
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- VAT Practitioners Group (VPG)
All actively participate and contribute to Working Together.
Working Together looks for ways to improve HMRC’s operations for the benefit of tax agents, their clients and HMRC.
The main objectives of Working Together are to:
- improve communications between HMRC and tax agents
- identify and clarify widespread issues which can be escalated in real time
- help HMRC focus on the best way to help tax agents and their clients
- be open and exchange views on how the tax system works
3. Working Together in a digital age
Working Together is made up of ten regions, who will each lead a Working Together online meeting.
There is a rolling programme of Working Together meetings throughout the year. An agent can contribute and join all if they wish, or dip in and out for specific agenda items of interest. Agent participation is an essential part of the partnership. Agents will work with HMRC to agree agendas and jointly host the meetings.
For each regional group there will be a dedicated named contact, backed by a support network ensuring agents always have access to a Specialist Agent Manager (SAM).
Every regional group will have access to a digital forum (currently in design) so agents can self-serve information when it’s convenient for them to do so, and for HMRC to post updates on Working Together / Issue Resolution, providing prompt information and faster resolution.
Through online meetings, agents will have unprecedented access to Subject Matter Experts and HMRC business owners and leaders, ensuring communications are consistent and UK-wide.
Working Together regional groups
Across the UK, there are 10 regional Working Together groups:
- South West
- South East
- East and East Midlands
- West Midlands
- North West
- North East
- Northern Ireland
4. Getting involved
Working Together groups hold online meetings to give tax agents and advisers the opportunity to raise and discuss issues with HMRC, and to hear messages from the department.
Any agent is welcome to join the Working Together online meetings. Some agents in the regional groups will represent one of the main representative bodies, or other agent organisations. Agents who attend the online meetings are asked, where appropriate, to bring discussion items from their colleagues with them, and feed back to them after each meeting.
The regional groups also discuss HMRC operational issues with the relevant Subject Matter Experts - resolving them where possible.
There will be a minimum of 10 online meetings a year hosted by the regional groups. All meetings have formal agendas and regular feedback is provided to group members on issues raised.
How to raise an issue
There are a number of ways to raise an issue:
- If you are a member of the Working Together network:
- once you identify what you believe is a widespread issue, contact your agent network and find out if they are experiencing the same problem
- contact the relevant Specialist Agent Manager (SAM), providing the details, plus supporting evidence
- If you are a member of a Professional Body but not the Working Together network:
- contact your Professional Body representative, providing all the relevant information - you can find their details on the last page of the latest edition of Agent Update
- If you are a member of a Professional Body, but there are currently no contact details listed for this in Agent Update:
- email the Agent Engagement Team mailbox, detailing the problem together with supporting evidence
- If you are not a member of a Professional Body, email the Agent Engagement Team mailbox, detailing the problem together with supporting evidence
5. Talking Points
Talking Points are weekly online meetings, which sit alongside the regular monthly Working Together online meetings. These are short online sessions, usually 45 minutes, focussing on topics agents have highlighted they are interested in or on emerging issues that HMRC identify as impacting on agents.
Talking Points sessions provide agents with the opportunity to talk with subject matter experts from HMRC, across a range of different topics.
If you’d like to join a Talking Points session or watch a recording of a previous session you can do so at Webinars, e-learning and videos if you’re a tax agent or adviser.
6. Agent Account Manager Service
HMRC has a UK-wide team of Agent Account Managers (AAMs) to help tax agents and advisers deal with the department more effectively.
AAMs provide a service to help resolve client-specific issues. The AAMs act as an intermediary between agents and HMRC where the normal communication channels have broken down.
7. Issues Overview Group
Representatives from the HMRC team responsible for Working Together and the professional bodies established the Issues Overview Group to ensure that widespread issues raised by the professional bodies, their members, unaffiliated agents, and HMRC, are reviewed, resolved or escalated appropriately.
8. Agent Update publication
The Agent Update publication includes a section on subjects that are of interest to those involved in the Working Together network, or that have been identified as key areas of concern.