CIOT backs HMRC's business record checks change

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has backed HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) plans for a major change to the current business record checks regime (BRC).

This change follows a review of the system, with the CIOT working along HMRC to introduce a scheme where the checks are more targeted and linked to available education and support. Under the plans, BRC visits will be scaled back, with the focus switching to the introduction of the new processes endorsed in the recent review.

These changes follow criticisms from the CIOT over the flawed BRC pilot programme with concerns focused on the mis-targeting of the scheme along with the high bar set by HMRC and the poor consultation process. This eventually led to further meetings among professional bodies, with a review finally announced in December.

CIOT president Anthony Thomas, who was one of the chief voices against the previous system welcomed the changes. "HMRC are trying to have BRCs put firmly into the field of its compliance activity, which is where they belong," he said. "That will provide an incentive for taxpayers to pay more attention to record-keeping as well as removing grey areas for advisers and HMRC as to the status of BRC."