Increasingly law enforcement and other government agencies are turning their attention to those who enable criminals to carry out their crimes. Section 162 and Schedule 20 of the Finance Act 2016 contains new sanctions directed at enablers of offshore tax evasion and non-compliance. These sanctions will apply to offences involving income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. An implementation date has not yet been agreed; section 162 (2) says the sanctions will “come into force on such day as the Treasury may appoint by regulations made by statutory instrument”.
Members occasionally deal with clients who are a considering setting up powers of attorney, or who are losing mental capacity and also liaise with attorneys who deal with matters such as the approval of tax returns. This guidance is for use by members to provide background information on the legal framework relating to powers of attorney. If members are asked to be an attorney they should remember that this moves outside the normal tax adviser relationship with a client and should be considered very carefully before such an arrangement is entered into. This is a complex area and this guidance is intended as a helpful introduction only. Members should take care not to exceed the limits of their knowledge and experience. This guidance is not a substitute for taking appropriate legal advice. It should not be relied upon by our members or the general public nor should it be provided to clients as legal advice to be relied upon by them.
CIOT and ATT provide their latest briefing note.
As well as liaising with the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) we have written to over 70 lenders encouraging them to accept financial references from our members. We have included below details of the responses received from the top 10 lenders by volume as these are the lenders about which members most commonly contact us.
We understand that, irrespective of professional qualifications held, mortgage lenders have been asking for forms SA302 in addition to the financial statement. We have made the point to lenders that the SA302 will effectively repeat the information entered by our members on their clients’ returns. In addition HMRC have agreed a new procedure with the CML whereby certain documents can be provided by taxpayers or their agents which should avoid the need to obtain forms SA302. Further details on this and the lenders who have signed up to the new procedure can be found in the PDF.
Free cyber-security course: help protect yourselves and clients from cyber-attacks
The CIOT and ATT have provided guidance on handling unnannounced visits under warrant from regulatory or enforcement authorities.
This document was produced by a collaborative working party of ATT, CIOT (including former IIT), ACCA, AAT and STEP as a practical and helpful tool for tax practitioners. The letters of engagement, specimen schedules of service, standard terms and conditions of business and letter of disengagement are intended to be adapted and amended by tax practitioners to suit their own practice.
Sections 3.5 and 3.6 of the Professional Rules and Practice Guidelines recommend that a member who is a sole practitioner should make suitable arrangements to ensure that his practice can continue to be carried on in the event of his illness, temporary or permanent incapacity, or death. This guidance includes appointing an alternate and a sample agreement.
Under the Services Directive CIOT and ATT members in practice must provide certain information to clients and prospective clients. The information must be supplied before the conclusion of a contract for the provision of the service or, where there is no contract, before the services are provided. A helpsheet giving further details is attached.
Link to Tribunals page.
The CIOT and ATT have updated a briefing note on some of the Professional Standards issues which arise out of the UK/Swiss Tax Deal.