We are sharing this update from ACCA, our professional body, for the interest of clients and contacts. The content is (c) ACCA

Efforts are being made by HMRC to improve the tax repayment agent market

In a bid to raise standards in the tax repayment agent market, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued an enforcement notice and a press release in collaboration with HMRC.

The notice provides guidance to promoters of tax repayment agent services and applies across all media which targets UK consumers. Those advertisers that fail to comply with the notice will be subject to sanctions.

The enforcement notice requires everyone who is involved in marketing or advertising such services to take immediate steps to check that all of their advertising, including paid-for advertising, websites and social media, adheres to the stated guidance in the document and make any changes as needed.

There are various case studies included within the notice which highlight to taxpayers what to look for when using one of the advertised services for potential tax repayment claims.

The notice commands that following a grace period, from 15 January 2024, ASA will start targeted monitoring and enforcement.

Note from Whitefield / Yotatax – the background to this is businesses – sometimes accountants, often not – offering consumer focused bulk tax repayment schemes.  Whilst some of these are genuine, many have been founded on dubious or illegal practices and are scams.  Typically they have catchy advertising, often misleading, and a focus on lower earners..  HMRC have been battling fraud and abuse in this area for a while.