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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Agent operational guidance: poor agent behaviour: poor technical ability

An agent’s poor technical ability that puts tax at risk will generally fall into one or more of the following categories

  • bookkeeping or accounting errors
  • computational errors
  • lack of tax knowledge or expertise
  • unreasonable or untenable technical views.

It could also result from other pressures within the agent’s practice, for example, the loss of key members of staff.

You must only report an agent’s poor technical ability where you believe their behaviour is the cause of an actual or potential loss of tax (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

You do not need to make a report if the loss of tax or culpability arises from a client’s failure or error, or if the agent is making a reasoned technical argument.

The reporting process is intended to identify examples where the standards demonstrated by the agent fall well short of those which would be demonstrated by a competent agent. The measure would be the standards required of those who are affiliated to the main agent representative bodies.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Once you have made your report, you should carry on with your check in the normal way.

You do not need to make this report if you have already made a report about the agent’s suspicious repayment or registration activity, see CH850000, or if you have contacted the Agent Compliance Team (ACT) about a tax agent’s suspected dishonest conduct, see CH880400.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)