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This week's opinion

09 August 2016
Issue: 4562 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

High standards should be taken for granted

The publication of HMRC’s standard for agents on 3 August has stimulated a lot of discussion in the blogosphere. There is nothing new in the document: the test is almost identical to something published with almost no publicity in Agent Update 52 (February 2016).

I want to be part of a profession where high standards are taken for granted and I favour anything that genuinely supports that ambition. I constantly see high-quality work from tax advisers from all sizes of firms operating with high ethical standards. But it would be naïve to suggest that everybody fits that description. It is in all of our interests and those of the public to insist on the highest standards. I do however struggle to see how the issue of this short standard with no context or explanation will make any difference. It seems to exist...

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