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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
(1) how many authorised agents have had their registration with HM Revenue and Customs deleted as a result of a data-cleansing routine; how many (a) active and (b) inactive agent codes have been deleted on each day since the data-cleansing routine process began; and if he will make a statement;
(2) on what date senior HM Revenue and Customs officials were made aware that a data-cleansing routine was deleting the registration status of active authorised agents; on what date that data-cleansing routine (a) began and (b) ceased; how many active agents have had their registration status deleted; how many such agents have not had their status reinstated; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what steps he has taken to ensure that all active authorised agents who have had their registration status deleted as a consequence of a HM Revenue and Customs data-cleansing process (a) are notified and (b) have their status reinstated; by what date all agents who have had their registration incorrectly deleted will be reinstated; and if he will make a statement.
Since 2009 HMRC has run an annual data-cleansing routine for corporation tax agents every April. The aim is to reduce HMRC stationery and postage cost where agents have ceased to act. It has become apparent that agents who have recently set up but have not yet registered for online filing and are not yet authorised to act for a company are being automatically deleted in the annual cleanse. HMRC has now implemented changes to the routine that will ensure that any agent recently set up will not be cleansed in the April 2013 run.
The following table provides the date on which each routine was run, the number of corporation tax agents cleansed and the number reinstated.
|3 April 2009||92,190||1,559|
|9 April 2010||3,685||363|
|8 April 2011||4,568||545|
|13 April 2012||4,346||379|
The criteria for a corporation tax agent to be cleansed are:
(1) Not registered for online filing, and
no client has ever been linked to them, or more than 12 months since any client linked to them, or any client linked to them ceased more than 12 months ago.