ACCA warns against us­ing rogue tax-re­turn com­pa­nies

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE -

ACCOUNTANCY body ACCA has is­sued a warn­ing to em­ploy­ees on the dan­gers posed by some on­line tax re­fund ser­vice providers seek­ing to man­age peo­ple’s PAYE claims.

ACCA said that such ser­vice providers also pose a risk re­gard­ing the har­vest­ing of per­sonal data, and that their fee struc­ture could act as an in­cen­tive to il­le­gally over­state re­fund claims for cus­tomers when sub­mit­ting re­turns on their be­half.

The group added that its pro­fes­sion­als through­out Ire­land have found an in­crease in this type of ser­vice which is specif­i­cally seek­ing to tar­get peo­ple at the same time as the Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duces its new in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sys­tems to record wages on­line, from Jan­uary next year.

The Gov­ern­ment’s new sys­tem re­quires that em­ploy­ees keep their on­line records up to date and it has a very sim­ple process for re­claim­ing tax cred­its and re­funds.

Some un­qual­i­fied on­line ser­vice providers seek tax­pay­ers to pro­vide ex­actly the same in­for­ma­tion as will be re­quired by the Gov­ern­ment’s new sys­tem and sim­ply tran­scribe the in­for­ma­tion across.

“These cus­tomers have no clear route to a right of re­dress should they find them­selves out of pocket,” said ACCA chair­man Stephen O’Fla­herty.

“We would strongly ad­vise peo­ple never to ac­cept a per­cent­age of a re­fund pay­ment ar­range­ment or to agree to any sub­mis­sion whereby the de­tails are er­ro­neous.”

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