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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Dishonest tax agent: who is a tax agent - examples

Examples of who is a tax agent

  • Sole accounting practitioner.
  • Business advisor.
  • Partner or employee of an accounting practice, however the practice is constituted.
  • Tax advisor and tax consultant.
  • Employee of a bank where that person provides tax advice.
  • Solicitor giving advice on tax matters.
  • Valuer providing valuations for tax purposes.
  • Partner or employee of a ‘high volume agent’.

‘High volume agents’ are sometimes referred to as ‘refund organisations’ or ‘claims firms’. They make large numbers of claims, usually for employees not in self assessment, for income tax repayments, in respect of expenses or reliefs claimed by PAYE employees, but they can also make VAT repayment claims. The claims are usually based on a fairly narrow range of tax law.

Examples of who is not a tax agent

  • An in-house tax professional who files tax returns on behalf of the business. If the employee acted dishonestly with the returns of the business, we would consider charging inaccuracy penalties on the business, see CH84530.
  • A person who is providing tax advice for family members where it is not in the course of their business.
  • An employee of Citizens Advice.
  • An organisation, including partnerships and companies.