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Tax advisers face scrutiny by State regulator


Ministers consider new regulator to control activities of Britain’s thousands of tax advisers

Ministers are considering a powerful new State regulator to control the activities of Britain’s thousands of tax advisers offering services to more than 12million people.

It would cover accountants, book-keepers and possibly family or friends offering informal advice. The Treasury is launching its review in the wake of scandals, such as one where staff were paid via tax-avoiding loans not likely ever to be repaid. 

Scrutiny: Accountants and others are regulated by their professional bodies, but anyone can become a tax adviser

Scrutiny: Accountants and others are regulated by their professional bodies, but anyone can become a tax adviser

‘Many tax advisers are competent and adhere to high professional standards,’ said the Treasury. ‘But some are incompetent, some unprofessional, a few actively corrupt.’ 

Accountants and others are regulated by their professional bodies. But anyone can become a tax adviser, with no obligation to be regulated. 

Glyn Fullelove, head of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: ‘We are greatly in favour of raising standards, but believe this ought initially to be based on the professional bodies. It would raise tricky conflict-of-interest questions were the State to be the regulator.’



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