The consultation seeks views on measures intended to protect individuals who use repayment agents to claim a tax refund, in particular of income tax. ICAEW shares many of the concerns expressed in the document, particularly in relation to the use of assignments. The Institute would support measures to prohibit the use of assignments.
ICAEW is, however, concerned that the suggested changes could possibly completely close down the repayment agent market, or effectively restrict it to higher value claims, rather than improve practices in that market and stamp out abuse. If the outcome was to close down the repayment agent model and HMRC does not promote claims by taxpayers and make it easier to claim, a significant amount of tax relief might go unclaimed.
HMRC still expects to publish a wider consultation on raising standards later this year, subject to discussions with the new Treasury team.
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