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Tribunal judge slams 'ill-prepared' agents

23 September 2011
Categories: News
Appellants would often do better job themselves, claims QC

A leading barrister has criticised tax agents for the low quality of their work in front of the First-tier Tribunal.

Geraint Jones QC, head of London’s Tanfield Chambers, said he was not impressed by the standard of groundwork of appellant’s representatives in tax cases, claiming advisers are often ‘ill-prepared’ and ‘haven’t thought through how they’re going to present their case’.

Mr Jones, who sits as a judge on the First-tier Tribunal, acknowledged that many advisers are ‘highly competent’ but added, ‘You sit there thinking, why is this appellant paying this person to come along? Frankly, they could have done a better job themselves.

‘If a member of my chambers had turned up as ill prepared as some representatives, then the client would justifiably be able to complain to me,’ said the QC.

In an interview for the accountants’ website Taxtv, he also attacked HMRC for their interpretation of what constitutes reasonable excuse, and claimed he had been told by two separate Revenue representatives that the department’s guidance would be changing in the very near future.

But he expressed doubt about the change, questioning whether it would simply be a case that ‘gloss would... be put on the simple phrase’.

Categories: News
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