Opinion Former Article

CIOT: Tax engagement letters - joint bodies' guidance updated

The main tax and accounting bodies have issued updated guidance on letters of engagement.

The guidance is designed to offer protection for tax practitioners and their clients, and is both a practical and helpful tool.

Paul Benney, Chairman of the Joint Bodies’ Working Party which undertook the review and update, said:

“We have maintained the same user-friendly, easily adaptable format and general principles of the guidance, only updating those areas where there have been changes in the law or developments in best practice."

Amendments have been made to the Foreword, Guidance Notes to the Appendices and Appendix C - Standard Terms and Conditions of Business only. An additional Appendix D has also been inserted covering Disengagement Letters. All other appendices remain unchanged.

New subjects covered in this edition are:

The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work, etc; Regulations 2008;
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000;
Services Directive;
iXBRL tagging; and
Disengagement Letters.

And the topics for which the guidance or recommended text has been changed include:

Acting as a Guarantor - wording expanded;
Limitation of Liability - wording expanded and some text moved from the Standard Terms & Conditions to the covering letter; and
Limitation of Third Party Rights - wording expanded.

Practitioners are encouraged to review their existing engagement letters annually and update as appropriate. Where practitioners use the engagement letter and schedules developed by the joint bodies they should tailor them to suit their practice.

The guidance and engagement letters are available at:




Notes for editors

1. Members of the tax engagement letters working party:

· Paul Benney, Chairman – ICAEW

· Charlotte Ali, Secretary – CIOT and ATT

· John Barnes – IIT

· Peter Bickley – ICAEW

· Heather Brehcist – CIOT and ATT

· John Cassidy - ICAEW

· Glenn Collins – ACCA

· Karen Eckstein – CIOT and ATT

· Patricia Gallacher – ICAS

· Julian Nelberg – CIOT and ATT

Sophia Bell

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