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ICAEW welcomes updates to HMRC’s standard for agents

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 20 May 2024

The standard for agents has been updated to highlight it does not override duties set out by an agent's professional body. It does not impose additional requirements on agents who meet PCRT standards.

The standard for agents sets out how HMRC expects tax agents to behave in their dealings with HMRC. It has been updated to clarify that it does not override the duties set out by an  agent’s professional body. ICAEW members advising on UK tax matters must meet the standards set out in Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT). The updated standard for agents endorses PCRT.  

It has been made clear that where an agent complies with PCRT, HMRC’s standard for agents will not place further requirements on them.  

PCRT

PCRT is co-authored by seven leading UK tax and accountancy bodies (the PCRT bodies), including ICAEW. It sets out the principles and standards of behaviour that all members, affiliates and students of the PCRT bodies must follow in their tax work. The PCRT bodies have worked with HMRC on amendments to its standard for agents since the last update was issued in February 2023. 

The view of the PCRT bodies 

In a joint statement, the PCRT bodies said: “We welcome the renewed recognition of PCRT as the gold standard through its inclusion in the revised standard.”  

“There is currently considerable focus on potential future regulation of the tax services market with an ongoing government consultation. The PCRT bodies are keen that any future direction raises standards consistently across the whole market to the high levels required by PCRT. The revised standard is reassuring in its endorsement of PCRT as setting and meeting the desired high standards of tax agents, as well as ensuring that those meeting it are not having to consider multiple, overlapping codes of ethics.”  

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