Q. At the moment ‘accountants’ have a legal duty to ensure the PSC are complying to money laundering legislation. Considering the changes in the IR35 legisation; from April 17 is there any legal requirement to ensure that the ‘accountant’ we take on to do our accounts; are paying the correct amount of tax?
A. The changes in the IR35 legislation for public sector engagements puts the responsibility of determining status onto the end user, and the responsibility of deducting the necessary PAYE and NIC onto the party paying the PSC (i.e. an agency). It is always important to remember that an accountant is engaged by the limited company to provide advice and prepare accounts. They do not run your company for you and ultimately all legal responsibilities rest with you as a director. You sign off the accounts and you should be in control over any payments of tax to HMRC.
Accountants have a duty to report any suspicion of money laundering, but are not in a position to control a director’s actions.