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Deloitte welcomes latest guidance on Senior Accounting Officer sign off

27 April 2012

Mark Kennedy, a director in the tax management consulting team at Deloitte, comments: 

“Deloitte welcomes today’s publication of further guidance from HMRC on the practical application of the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) legislation, the requirement for senior finance officers of large UK companies to personally certify that their controls over UK taxes are fit for purpose.  The revised guidance is positive news for both SAOs and their companies as it provides greater clarity around some of the more challenging aspects of the rules, including the circumstances in which penalties may or may not be levied.

“This insight is timely as all SAOs should now have submitted their first certificate and, based on Deloitte data, it would appear that around 30% have disclosed errors or weaknesses in their UK tax controls. Given that the initial ‘light touch’ of HMRC’s application of the rules has now ended SAOs and their businesses need to ensure that any year one issues have been resolved and effective controls are maintained to minimise the exposure to penalty.

“HMRC acknowledges one area of uncertainty remains, relating to the taxpayer confidentiality. To address this they have announced that they intend to amend certain specific sections of the guidance to confirm their view that the failure of the SAO to submit a certificate can be disclosed to the company.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors:
About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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