CIOT President's Page: Getting our voice heard!
They say time flies and it certainly feels that way. We are already a month into 2023 and many of you will only just be recovering from (or still embroiled in) the turmoil and fall-out of self-assessment filing. You have my total admiration.
There is a huge sigh of relief, I am sure, when the last return goes in. Many of you will also have seen the announcement before Christmas that there will be a further delay to the roll out of Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD for ITSA) and that this will now be phased in from 2026. Whilst we could argue that it’s a shame the whole topic wasn’t reviewed earlier, this is welcome news – and just one of many areas that I think we can, as an Institute, take credit for helping to bring about. Our voice does get heard and, amongst many other things, is one of the benefits of membership and a recognition of the power of the CIOT in engendering beneficial change.
As for those that have recently passed their exams, I hope to welcome all of you as members and look forward to seeing you at an admissions ceremony in March. Many congratulations! Some of you will have been on the joint programmes, and many of the LinkedIn posts I have seen are a salutary reminder of the number of books and exams required to pass. Super well done!
One of the wonderful things about being your President is that I get to send all the congratulations letters and sign the certificates! But education does not end there so please make sure you keep up your CPD – there is lots available from CIOT!
For those that still have more exams to go, the very best of luck. As I have said before, sitting your CTA exams is no mean feat. It is quite possible that preparing and studying towards the qualification can really get on top of you. So, you should all be proud of your achievements pass or fail. Why? Finding the time to engage with all of that material and studying, whilst holding down a job in the profession, is challenging to say the least.
One of the things I am often asked is what the role of President entails and do I have a theme for my year of office. I have talked a little about the role in previous pages and I normally describe it as a figurehead plus chair of the board (in this case, Council). In terms of the second question, I don’t have an explicit theme as it could be too disruptive to have a change of theme each year with each President.
That said, I have tried to use the opportunity that the Presidency has given me to highlight matters that are close to me but impact on many; for example, dyslexia, equality and diversity. And from a taxation perspective, there have been various campaigns including HMRC service levels, MTD and others.
On HMRC matters, a BIG thank you to all of those who have responded to our surveys and requests for examples. We have been engaging with HMRC at senior levels and others such as the Public Accounts Committee (see page 44) to raise the issues and discuss how things might improve. Watch out for further details. This in turn leads me nicely into a plug for the email weekly newsletter. If you haven’t signed up, you really should. Not only does it cover news on what the technical teams have been up to but also recent tax updates, including tax cases, HMRC manual changes, etc. Reading it can even count towards your CPD (see my earlier comment!).
Whilst I am in ‘plugging mode’, please keep an eye out for the latest events both in person and online. They are another great way to get your CPD and or just to talk tax with a wide range of people. All these take a lot of hard work to organise and there are some I would like to highlight. The first are podcasts – including the Tax Adviser podcast, which you can find via the newly designed Tax Adviser website at: www.taxadvisermagazine.com, as well as Spotify. I have also tried my hand at podcasting with help from my RSM colleagues (www.rsmuk.com/the-loop) but there are many more out there to help us.
Conferences wise, the IFS residential conference 2023, ‘Taxing top incomes: design issues and challenges beyond the politics’ takes place on 30-31 March at Worcester College. The CIOT Spring Virtual Conference 2023, covering a wide range of topics from HMRC service levels and tax tribunals to crypto and stamp duty, takes place on 26-27 April 2023.
Lastly, and even though it is already February, I wish you all a very happy and successful 2023!