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Support for enrolment of tax agents

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Responses to a recent consultation indicated that tax agents generally supported HMRC's proposals for enrolment and welcomed the ability to ‘self serve’, HMRC said.

Concern was expressed, however, that the ‘agent view’ was a step towards regulation by the back door. There were some strong views, HMRC said, about formal qualifications. Many agents said HMRC should accommodate those qualified by experience as well as those with formal qualifications.

Support for independent oversight, and safeguards in relation to sanctions that HMRC might seek to impose against agents considered to be acting unprofessionally, was ‘overwhelming’.

Joint working to improve HMRC service standards would continue alongside the tax agent strategy work, HMRC added, and legislation would be introduced in Finance Bill 2012 to tackle dishonest conduct by tax agents.