The Chartered Institute of Tax (CIOT) has recently issued an update to its members, advising best practice when their clients receive so called ‘certificates of tax position’ from HMRC relating to offshore income, gains and assets.
The guidance is welcome given the far reaching impact these letters have already had, and will undoubtedly continue to have. Most intermediaries with UK clients will be asked by concerned clients what they need to do upon receiving HMRC’s letter and certificate of tax position.
Our advice mirrors the CIOT’s guidance and can be summarised as follows:
The rules surrounding disclosures of offshore income and gains as well as penalty considerations are ever more complicated given the Requirement to Correct legislation. The CIOT guidance prompts members to comply with the fundamental principles of professional competence and due care as set out in Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT).
Advisers are reminded not to undertake professional work they are not competent to perform, unless they obtain appropriate assistance from a suitably qualified specialist. Advice from another adviser specialising in tax disputes may therefore be needed if the agent does not have the necessary expertise to handle a disclosure themselves.