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Repayment agents consultation

At long last HMRC is starting to take notice of firms that offer to reclaim money from HMRC on taxpayers behalf. There is a consultation running for 12 weeks from the 22nd June 22 to the 14th September 22.

The consultation seeks views on whether HMRC should:

  • restrict the use of assignments

  • introduce measures designed to ensure taxpayers see material information about a repayment agent’s service before entering into a contractual agreement

  • require repayment agents to formally register with HMRC

The consultation is open to accountants, tax agents and those tax payers who have used repayment agents. The overall objective being to address consumer protection issues for tax payers using repayment agents.

How to respond or enquire about this consultation

Written responses can be made:

Raising standards in tax advice: Protecting customers claiming tax repayments, Agent Policy Team, HMRC, 14 Westfield Avenue, Stratford, London, E20 1HZ.

Our View

This has been long overdue. Whilst there are some reputable firms in this industry, it's fair to say most accountants have seen the adverts that over-promise and that are misleading at best in what these firms can do, from promises of fast turnaround, special relationships with HMRC and so on.

If you think you're due a refund from HMRC, get in touch with them directly. A quick google search will give you the number they can advise you how to claim your refund, free of charge. If you want help applying for the refund, go to a reputable accountant, they will be happy to help and charge a fair fee for their time. Beware firms that charge a percentage of the refund or those claiming to have a special relationship with HMRC.

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