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This week's opinion: 6 June 2019

03 June 2019 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4698 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Regulation of the tax profession seems inevitable

Readers will naturally be interested in HMRC’s research report on the role of professional bodies in the regulation of tax agents (

Taxation is not aligned with any of the professional bodies in our industry although we do like to think we have good relationships with all of them. Gone are the days when our founder editor fell out so spectacularly with the (then) Institute of Tax that he banned all mention of the institute from the magazine and even cut out previous mentions from our library copies.

One of the strengths of our magazine is that our readership reflects the wide range of the tax profession. Readers will have different perspectives on regulation. Many will be wholly against it, not necessarily in principle, but because regulation in other industries has become little more than a tedious, time-consuming form filling exercise that does nothing to stop those few people who are a danger to the public.

I have considerable sympathy with this view. But I also think that some form of regulation of our profession is inevitable. It is anomalous that somebody can provide the most complex and risky tax advice without being subject to any regulation, while even a straightforward, low-risk investment with a bank can only be made after filling out endless forms.

We need a proper debate about regulation. The tax profession should lead it rather than wait to be forced into a regime that may well not be fit for purpose.

If you do one thing…

HMRC has updated its guidance on how employers can obtain the employment allowance (worth up to £3,000 off the employer’s National Insurance bill). It may be worth a look if you have not dealt with this recently –

Issue: 4698 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
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