President's page, September 2019

A new academic year

September is the start of the new academic year, and this September is an important moment for the CIOT as we welcome Helen Whiteman as our new Chief Executive. Helen joins us from CILEx Regulation Limited where she was Chief Executive. CILEx Regulation is the independent regulator for Chartered Legal Executives and legal practices. Helen was previously the Chief Operating Officer at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. As we face increasing regulatory pressures in the tax profession, I am sure her experience will prove invaluable. Helen is looking forward to meeting as many members of the Institute as possible in the coming months, and will become a regular attendee at many of our events, including the upcoming Warwick conference.

One of Helen’s first tasks will be to work with Council to update and refine the strategy of the CIOT, so it is fit for the environment we face as we head towards the third decade of the 21st century. Changes in technology, increasing legislative complexity, the ‘internationalisation’ of taxation, regulation, and so on, provide significant challenges to our mission to promote education in taxation for professionals, legislators and the public as a whole, and to how we serve our members. It is crucial we have a strategy that ensures we have the right resources and relationships with governments and other professional bodies, not only now, but also in five or 10 years’ time. We will keep members updated on progress.

As well as the Warwick Conference, September will see several other events. CIOT will be hosting the ‘Education Zone’ at the International Fiscal Association (IFA) Congress in London. We will particularly be promoting our ADIT qualification to this international audience. I will be attending the Congress, and if you are there, please seek me out. Our Young International Corporate Tax Practitioners Conference is this year being held as part of the IFA Congress, and can be attended without being a delegate at the full Congress. 

Immediately after the IFA event, on 13 September, the inaugural ADIT Conference will be held. This is an international tax event open to all, but which we hope will attract ADIT affiliates in particular. There will be some exciting news on the development of ADIT at that event. Then, on 17 September, we are holding our ‘Tax and Technology – present and future’ debate, which should be of particular interest to in-house members. At the end of the month, we will be joining with the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Institute for Government to host fringe meetings at the major party conferences, so September will be very busy!

Just before Parliament broke for its summer recess, HM Treasury announced a series of measures designed to strengthen public trust in HMRC. CIOT has advocated such measures for some time, especially under my predecessor Ray McCann. We very much welcome these developments, particularly the formation of an independently advised professional standards committee for HMRC. We were also pleased that the Minister mentioned the review by HMRC of taxpayer experiences during compliance enquiries. This review at least in part arises from concerns raised by the CIOT with the previous Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and CIOT have been actively involved with the early stages of the review; there is every sign that this collaborative approach will continue. 

Finally, some of you may already be aware of the Kilimanjaro Challenge 2020 in support of TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People. This will be a major fund raising event for the charities next year. The focus is currently on encouraging people to sign up for the challenge – Tina Riches (Tina@Richestax.co.uk) can provide more details or see regonline.activeeurope.com/Tax2020. There will be an information evening on 24 September, after which fundraising will start in earnest – and I have already signed up, so will be seeking your moral and financial support as I see you as my year as President continues!

The two charities also have places available for the London Marathon, are involved in a running event at Lee Valley Park in November, and, for the less energetic, there is a quiz night at BDO. Contact Rose Over (Rose.Over@taxvol.org.uk) for more details on these.

Good luck for a busy autumn!

Glyn Fullelove

President, CIOT