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The ups and downs of life as a tax practitioner in the UK

Sue Moore of ICAEW describes some of the practical problems faced by accountants running their own tax practice, such as end of year tax returns, digital and telephone communications with HMRC and getting to grips with Making Tax Digital.

A practitioners lifeAs well as being a technical manager at ICAEW I run my own practice specialising in private client work, so the technical work I do is not just academic; I also have to deal with the practical issues. This article highlights a number of issues I am finding particularly frustrating or worrying; members in practice will recognise some of them. My purpose is to reassure you that the Tax Faculty is aware of these things, not least from the practical experience of staff and volunteers, and feedback from members. 

The classic joke is “this job would be a lot easier without the clients” but it is HMRC rather than the clients that have given me the greatest headache. Trying to contact HMRC in January was my cue to put the kettle on and grab a biscuit while waiting (and waiting) for an answer. One minute of the wait time is listening to a message that I have heard numerous times before, and I can assure HMRC that if I could find the answer to my problem on gov.uk I would not be hanging on the telephone.