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New CIOT president stresses professional standards

printer Mail

Incoming CIOT president, Ray McCann, has used his inaugural speech to emphasise the importance of maintaining high professional standards. As a former HMRC inspector, he also stressed the need for HMRC to reciprocate, by showing respect for the rights of taxpayers and the role of professionally qualified agents.

The profession should have ‘no place or tolerance for anyone who believes that the tax system is fair game for abuse,’ McCann said. ‘In the end, unchecked, it damages us all.’

However, he expressed concern at HMRC’s sometimes inappropriate application of its litigation and settlement strategy, when this is used ‘to justify years of delay and an all or nothing approach is applied across the board’.

McCann also questioned the current state of tax reliefs. ‘It is one thing to offer tax reliefs that encourage and enable businesses to grow. It is quite another to provide tax reliefs that simply reduce the effective tax contribution of those already well off or in some cases become the tools of the trade of those out to game the system through exploiting the rules,’ he said.