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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

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HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Dishonest tax agents: publishing details of tax agent dishonest conduct: before we publish details

Before publishing any information we must

  • inform the tax agent that we are considering doing so, and
  • allow the tax agent reasonable opportunity to make representations about whether their details should be published, see CH186150 and CH884300.

We are allowed to publish any information that we consider appropriate to publish in order to make clear the individual’s identity. This could include the individual’s location. Where the tax agent works, or worked, for an organisation, we can publish information about that organisation in order to clearly identify the tax agent.

The organisation may well have had nothing to do with the dishonest conduct. Clearly having the organisation’s name published in association with someone who has engaged in dishonest conduct could have serious implications for the organisation. The legislation therefore requires that, before we publish information about the organisation we must

  • inform the organisation that we are considering doing so, and
  • allow the organisation reasonable opportunity to make representations about whether the name of that organisation should be published, see CH884400.

There is no right of appeal to a tax tribunal against the decision to publish the details of a tax agent. The tax agent does, however, have full appeal rights against the amount of the penalty for dishonest conduct.

We will consider the person’s representations and take them into account in reaching our decision.

If we decide to publish the tax agent’s details, or details of the organisation where that tax agent works or worked, then the tax agent, or the organisation, can only challenge the decision through the judicial review process (see ARTG12010). We should therefore exercise great care before naming an organisation in association with a tax agent who has engaged in dishonest conduct.

Our decision whether to publish a tax agent’s details must be agreed by a nominated Senior Civil Servant (SCS).

FA12/SCH38/PARA28

FA09/S94 (6)