Has anyone else noticed the increasing presence of HMRC’s advisory activities. The most recent is a new service focused on helping mid-sized businesses as they expand and grow. It was launched by HMRC last week.
Apparently, there are 170,000 mid-sized businesses registered in the UK. These businesses, with a turnover of more than £10 million or more than 20 employees, and undergoing significant growth, can now seek expert help from HMRC growth support specialists.
According to HMRC it will be known as the Growth Support Service and HMRC tax experts will offer dedicated support, tailored to their customer’s needs – am I the only person who shudders at this definition of a taxpayer? It has been created to help growing, mid-sized businesses access the information and services they need.
Advice covered may include:
- helping with tax queries about their growing business
- supplying accurate information and co-ordinating technical expertise from across HMRC
- supporting them to get their tax right first time and access relevant incentives or reliefs
I wonder if the mandarins at HMRC can see the irony in their offering advice on the application of legislation they have been responsible for creating, and more importantly, enforcing?
It does raise issues for professional advisors. What about competitive advantage? HMRC are funded by the taxpayer, and are free to invest and deliver these services without the need to concern themselves with value and price – presumably these services are provided free of charge?
The playing field is most definitely no longer level. It is hard to believe that HMRC are deliberately setting out to undermine the advice given by professionals; and yet are they?
If readers have experience of clients taking advice from HMRC, in respect of these growing services, we would be interested to receive their comments.