Corporate report

HMRC: the standard for agents

Published 3 August 2016

1. Overview

At HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), we recognise the significant value that agents add by helping taxpayers meet their tax obligations.

Most agents are members of professional bodies that set standards for professional behaviour.

HMRC expects high standards that promote tax compliance from anyone who offers to represent or give advice to other taxpayers.

2. The standards

2.1 Integrity

We expect agents to be straightforward and honest with HMRC, for example:

  • disclose all relevant information
  • don’t imply that you’re regulated for tax by HMRC

2.2 Professional competence and due care

We expect agents to:

  • keep correct and up to date knowledge of the areas of tax that you deal with
  • work to prevent errors in your clients’ tax calculations or claims
  • advise your client to take steps to set matters right where you find errors in their tax affairs
  • keep online access credentials safe from unauthorised use at all times

2.3 Professional behaviour

We expect agents to:

  • comply fully with tax law and regulations
  • ensure your own tax affairs are correct and up to date
  • deal courteously and professionally with HMRC staff
  • consider the risk to reputation of tax agents, of any arrangements that you advise a client about - for example, tax planning schemes