It may be remembered that Mr Darling proposed in his Budget that the senior accounting officer of a company would be obliged to ensure that the accounting systems are adequate for the company to make accurate tax returns. It would be required to certify annually that the accounting systems are up to the job or to confirm any inadequacies to the company’s auditors. The senior accounting officer would be personally liable for a penalty if the company failed to comply with their obligations.

Predictably, this has given rise to a degree of concern, and the Treasury have now announced that they are satisfied that a narrower approach would be better. They propose to limit this measure to those companies with a significant business relationship with HMRC. Furthermore, they now “realise” that the requirement to notify the companies’ auditors could cause disproportionate difficulties, so that obligation will be removed.

I have a feeling that they might “realise” a few more things soon – so goodness knows how it will end up.