Benefits of an independent adviser

Why should an independent adviser represent you for your tax disclosure?

  1. If your accountant or solicitor is a general practitioner, they might not possess suitable technical knowledge, forensic skills or the experience to manage and negotiate the disclosure on your behalf.

  2. Your existing adviser may not have comprehensive experience preparing disclosure reports and collating the detailed information required to support its content, which could result in the disclosure not being accepted by HMRC and the case being identified for further investigation.

  3. Your accountant or solicitor will be aware that HMRC will welcome the appointment of a specialist to assist with your disclosure.

  4. Your existing adviser may not have a suitable professional indemnity policy to cover the services that will need to be provided.

  5. A prudent professional will be conscious of any potential conflicts of interest that may arise and in order to preserve the relationship for the longer term with their client, consider it appropriate not to act in relation to a disclosure.

  6. The professional body which your adviser is associated with is highly likely to require them to seek the assistance of an experienced professional in such circumstances. Most professional bodies advise that a member should consider taking the advice of a specialist in investigations of tax practitioners at an early stage and should also consider asking the specialist to conduct the discussions with HMRC.

  7. Your existing adviser may not have the resources available to manage the disclosure within the tight parameters, which would result in HMRC becoming concerned, client dissatisfaction and reputational risks.

  8. An independent adviser with extensive experience of tax disclosures should not be clouded with the history of how you arrived at the position of making a disclosure and be able to consider the different approaches both technically and practically to resolve matters for you.

  9. The circumstances resulting in your disclosure may also include highly personal issues, which you may wish to be kept discreet. Independent advisers are unlikely to be connected to any of your affairs and are used to being discreet – keeping confidential highly sensitive information.

  10. Given our extensive experience and knowledge managing a variety of complicated cases, we are able to provide clients with a staged process including realistic costs and timescales to complete a disclosure, which your existing adviser may be unable to do.

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