After Spring Budget 2024, the UK Government launched another ‘raising standards in the tax advice market’ consultation, this time focusing on strengthening the regulatory framework and improving registration. This noted there were 85,000 tax advice firms assisting 12 million taxpayers.

The theme of this consultation is that there are good and compliant practitioners, however, there is no statutory regulation of the tax advice market and, therefore, some are not so good.  As a result, this can have the impact of undermining people’s trust in the tax system and result in increased costs for clients and HMRC.  So, to remove these poor advisors from the market or improve their capability, it proposes three solutions:


1.     All practitioners will have to register with professional bodies and agree to abide by their standards

2.     A joint HMRC / industry enforcement model, or

3.     Enforcement by a new independent regulatory body


On 09 May 2024 between 9:45 and 10:45, HMRC is holding a webinar to discuss the consultation which is open until 29 May 2024.  The webinar will cover the following topics:


  • An overview of the wider work towards raising standards
  • Discussion about improving registration and access to HMRC agent services
  • The potential approaches to raising standards
  • Mandatory membership of a recognised professional body
  • Groups of tax practitioners that should be in scope or exempted, and
  •  Next steps 

For Bookkeepers

Initially, the proposals only apply to tax practitioners who interact with HMRC in a professional capacity.  The UK Government recognises this does not cover all practitioners who provide tax advice and services to clients.

As a professional body and AML supervisory body, ICB recommends attending the webinar.  It is likely that something will manifest from this consultation and bookkeepers need to be aware of HMRC’s thoughts on this.