Research and analysis

Factors affecting small and mid-sized businesses’ choice of tax agent

Research exploring small and medium-sized businesses’ use of tax agents and the decision making process surrounding this.


Factors affecting small and mid-sized businesses’ choice of tax agent

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) commissioned this research to explore small and mid-sized businesses’ use of tax agents. This forms part of HMRC’s agent strategy by which the department is committed to working closely and collaboratively with agents. Through exploring perception of and expected reaction to HMRC’s new digital services it will also feed into customer service improvements.

The research shows that most businesses (86%) used professional tax agents in some capacity. Businesses tended to use the same tax agent for long periods of time, and cited recommendation and a trusting relationship as important factors in their choice and use of agents. Businesses were generally positive towards HMRC’s future plans for digital service development; they generally do not expect to change their use of agent as a result of these developments.

The research involved 1,014 telephone survey interviews and 30 tele-depth interviews with small and mid-sized businesses.

Published 15 July 2015