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Accountants may have to disclose client details says the HMRC

14 July, 2009

The HMRC has recommended a new rule that would compel accountants to disclose the details of any clients who participate in schemes that avoid paying the 50% income tax rate. They are requesting that this new specialist information power be instituted by the time that the new rate comes into force in April next year.

Mr. John Whiting of the Chartered Institute of Taxation recently told the Sunday Times that it was one thing to ask accountants to tell them about the schemes, but they also wanted to know who was using them. He also said that then Revenue could see if it was going to many people and, depending on the class of people, Revenue could then decide if they should block it or not.

Grant Thornton is currently being investigated by the HMRC to establish whether it is marketing a scheme to bankers and hedge-fund employees to beat the 50% tax rate. Grant Thornton has however denied the allegation.

Letting agents are currently asked to disclose the names of landlords that they collect rentals from but Revenue is now seeking to extend its powers and it wants to add agencies that have introduced a tenant to a landlord for a fee in the past.

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