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The Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) measure was enacted in the Finance Act 2009 as Schedule 46 - Guidance.
The SAO is a measure aimed at reducing the tax gap through improvements in businesses' tax governance and systems. The measure requires a large company to identify who its SAO is and for this person to take reasonable steps to ensure that the company has appropriate tax accounting arrangements in place. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) sees open and transparent discussions with large businesses about their tax accounting arrangements as key to the successful application of this measure.
HMRC has produced a core script for its Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) to discuss with their SAO-qualifying groups as part of their routine meetings. The script sets out the key messages about SAO beyond the ‘light touch’ year.
HMRC' approach to working with large business customers to manage their tax compliance risk is cyclical in nature and is adapted for customers. The process for both low risk and non-low risk customers is set out in the Tax Compliance Risk Management manual.
The Business Tax Forum (BTF) exists to improve the operation of the tax system for both HMRC and large businesses.
The role of the BTF is to foster a stronger relationship and greater understanding between large businesses, HMRC and HM Treasury, taking a strategic-level view and aiming to improve the:
The Forum meets on a quarterly basis.
HMRC meets with the Big 4 Heads of Tax to foster a stronger relationship and greater understanding between HMRC and the agents dealing with large businesses and to improve the operation of the tax system for HMRC, agents and the businesses they serve.
These meetings offer a mechanism to:
The Mid-Tier Agents Forum (MTAF) is intended to foster a stronger relationship and greater understanding between HMRC and mid-tier agents dealing with taxpayers with complex affairs.
The MTAF offers a mechanism for those agents to:
The purpose of the Forum is to enable the Large Business Service (LBS) to get closer to its customers, better understand their needs, and at the same time to act as a sounding board to test ideas, debate current issues and provide customers with another avenue to contribute to developing thinking on new legislation.
Specifically, the Forum will enable the LBS to:
Meetings will take place twice a year and the next one is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. If anybody wishes to participate in the debate, they can register their interest by emailing Philippa Ball.
HMRC meets with representatives of the five largest UK law firms to discuss topical issues and specific items of tax administration and operation. This allows HMRC to gain a greater level of understanding and insight of these firms and their clients.
The forum offers a mechanism to:
For further details about the Large Law Firms Forum please email Timothy Smith.